The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has disclosed that it has issued 11 new electricity generation licenses.
This was disclosed in NERC’s newly released report that details its activities in the first quarter of 2022.
The regulator did not reveal the names of the new electricity-generating companies and their capacities.
The approval of 11 new GenCos takes the country’s electricity generating plants to 40 as it had 29 of them- 26 gas plants, and three hydro plants- before the latest addition.
The 29 existing plants have a combined 13, 461MW capacity, but they have been unable to generate up to 5000MW for some years.
Experts say Nigeria needs at least 30, 000MW to reach electricity sufficiency.
The NERC also stated in the report that it also renewed two of the existing licenses and transferred one on-grid generation license.
“In 2022/Q1, the commission approved the issuance of eleven (11) new generation licenses, renewal of two (2) existing licenses and transfer of one (1) on-grid generation license. The Commission also approved forty-one (41) mini-grid registration/permits and granted an aggregate capacity of 186.06MW captive power generation permits to seven (7) new companies. Twelve (12) Metering Service Providers (MSP) consisting of eight (8) meter installers, three (3) meter manufacturers and one (1) meter importer, were also approved by the Commission in 2022/Q1,” the report stated.
The PUNCH over the weekend reported how 26 out of the plants’ capacity dropped by 26 per cent, while three are totally down, unable to generate a single megawatt.
According to data sourced from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, the drop in output occurred from January 2019 to December 2022.
The data showed that between January 2021 and December last year, the capacity of the 26 power plants dropped to 4522MW.
The power plants affected were Afam-IV-V, Alaoji NIPP, Azura Edo, Delta, Egbin, GBARAIN, Geregu, GereguNIPP, Ibom Power, Ihovbor NIPP, Jebba, Kainji, Odukpani, Okpai, Olorunsogo, Olorunsogo NIPP, Omoku, Omotosho, Omotosho NIPP, ParasEnergy, RiversIPP, Sapele, Sapele NIPP, Shiroro, and Trans Amadi.
On the other hand, three plants are currently down, unable to generate power between 2019 and 2022. The plants affected are AES, Dadinkowa and Asco.
In a bid to salvage power generation, Chairman, NERC, Sanusi Garba told newsmen in Lagos that the entire value chain of the power sector, comprising the DisCos, GenCos and TCN had signed a contract and they were committed to delivering 5,000MW per day of electricity to consumers, starting from July last year.
Head Corporate Communications, Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc Henrietta Ighomrore, told The PUNCH during an interview that NERC was committed to enforcing the Power Purchase Agreements between the trading company and players in the power sector.
According to her, all stakeholders were resolute on abiding by the contract geared towards delivering at least 5,000MW of electricity to Nigerians.
However, electricity generation had remained below 5000MW per day though the time the commission promised had lapsed.
Last week, the Discos lamented the low power supply from the GenCos, leading to load shedding.
Metering expert, Sesan Okunade, told The PUNCH that power generation was not what Nigeria should be battling with at the moment.
“We have generated more than this before that have been sold to neighboring countries. Our problem is the transmission and distribution infrastructure which is not capable of withholding the supply if more power is transmitted from GenCos. One of the reasons for system collapse is the excess kilowatt not being collected by Discos due to technical and commercial losses,” he stated.
He said NERC should mandate the Discos to implement a good connection policy devoid of the cobweb currently in the network so that energy would be well accounted for, adding that this would assist operators in what the Discos can handle.