By Obas Esiedesa
Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) says it is looking at alternative ways of putting its idle power turbines to use through the eligible customer programme of the Federal Government.
To this end, it says, it has begun a comprehensive audit of all the National Integrated Power Plants (NIPP) with a view to putting to use all idle gas turbine for improved electricity generation in the country.
Executive Director, Generation, NDPHC, Engr. Abdullahi Kassim who inspected three power plants including Omotosho, Ogorode, and Ihovbor (Benin) last weekend said the board of NDPHC headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, had given the newly structured executive management of the company a marching order to bring back all the gas turbine units that are not in good condition, hence the audit.
According to him, the audit will expose the overview of critical issues that have hindered the plants to work optimally, stressing that the exercise will cover issues around security, man power gap, skills and expertise gap, among others, for urgent fixing.
He explains: “We are going to commence an audit of all the power plants. The audit will give us an overview of critical issues. Like the security audit will expose the challenges around security, like the mapping of all those security personnel around the power plants, the man power gap which was an issue raised by some of the COOs.
“Now, we will do an audit to understand how many people we have on those power plants, what are the needed skills and expertise and the gaps which we need to quickly fix. So the audit is going be a holistic approach to understand the general operational issues that will include the administrative issues, the maintenance issues, transportation and logistics issues, security issues and also the environmental issues in terms of how these power plants are supposed to be standardized to meet up with the international standards of operating power plants” he stated.
Abdullahi also disclosed that NDPHC has initiated stakeholders engagements aimed at improving evacuation of power from all power plants in the country.
“There are ongoing engagement with Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and Nigeria Electrity NBET trying to have a very good understanding and strategy on how we improve on our evacuation. Discussion is ongoing with the key stakeholders, there will be some follow up meetings in the next one week or so. So then we can agree to some terms on understanding how we can improve in the evacuation because most of the power plants are in NDPHC” he added.
On each of the power plants visited, the Chief Operating Officers (COOs) said they are pushing to expand the scope of eligible customers to enable them evacuate power to industries, and companies requiring it through a willing buyer, willing seller mechanism.
Engr. Ayoade Olariwaju Bex, the COO of Ogorode Generation Company, declared that the company has the capacity to wheel more than 70 percent of 504MW capacity, urging the National Control Centre to always put the Sapele based company on the bar.
“I want to plead that NCC should be putting us on the bar every day to cover 24 hours, 7 days in week, 365 days in a year. We are more than capable of willing more than 70% of our capacity. Three units are fully available to do 24 hours service”, he said.
Engr. Kalu Okpe, COO of Benin Generation Company Limited, lamented that even though the plant has an ISO base of 504MW, it has been constrained to run only one unit due to transmission challenge.