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Experts task FG on investment in modern power infrastructure

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Some experts in the power industry have urged the Federal Government to prioritise investment in modern power infrastructure to mitigate frequent system collapses.

The experts made the urge in separate interviews on Sunday in Lagos.

Recall that on March 28, the national electricity transmission network, otherwise known as the grid, collapsed and plunged millions of homes and businesses into darkness.

This marks the fourth collapse of the grid in the first three months of the year.

Commenting on the development, National Coordinator, Coalition for Affordable and Regular Electricity (CARE), Mr Chinedu Bosah said system collapse could be stopped by reversing the power privatisation and investing more in modern power infrastructure.

Bosah said that such investment must be carried out transparently, and under the democratic control of workers and consumers.

This, he said, would forestall the usual corruption and inefficiency linked to public investment.

He said that if transmission infrastructure had to be upgraded, it would require massive investment, but had to be pursued to achieve public interest.

“If the ruling elite continues to see investment from the point of personal enrichment, very little will be achieved.

“Hence, all subsequent investments must not be determined and handled by the corrupt bureaucracy.”

According to him, it has to be people-oriented, transparent and managed by workers and consumers if it has to achieve its set goals.

The expert said, “System collapses have come to stay, it is now part of the electricity value chain and it is multifaceted.

“It is also a system collapse when the distribution companies reject load electricity and plunge communities into darkness or distribute electricity through poor facilities and infrastructure.

“It is a system collapse when the GenCos fail to generate more electricity for Nigerians.”

Bosah said that apart from the plan to increase power generation from 3,500 MW to 6,500 MW, the minister of power should also have told Nigerians how to achieve it.

“We expect the generation companies to make such a promise and show the plan to achieve this, not the minister.

“In other words, 6,500 MW for a population of over 200 million people cannot be celebrated. It is a feat that endorses our backwardness and underdevelopment.

“The generation of 6,500 MW will still leave many Nigerians in darkness,” he said.

Bosah condemned the clamour for the privatisation of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), saying, “they have not learnt anything from the failure of the privatisation of the generation and distribution aspect of the power sector.”

“It would have made sense if the GenCos and DisCos are doing very well. But in fact, the GenCos have not added 1 MW since privatisation while the DisCos are distributing darkness in most cases,” he added.

He said that the problem with GenCos, DisCos, and TCN were major companies, put together, to actualise profits for the owners and the managers.

The Chairman of the Customer Consultative Forum of Festac/Satellite Town, Mr Akinrolabu Olukayode, called for a thorough audit of past investments.

He alleged that there had been diversion of funds into private pockets and therefore advocated for a change in management.

He suggested an injection of fresh talent to combat corruption and inefficiency.

“There is no way that you will obtain a different result when you keep adopting the same approach.

“It is when you change the approach that you can visibly obtain a different result.

“It is crystal clear that the huge investment in the energy sector is diverted into a private purse for personal gains,” he added.

He said that the accumulated effects of consistent failure to utilise budgeted funds for the maintenance of the national grid were responsible for the collapses.

“The projected increase from 3,500MW to 6,500MW in the next six months is doable and feasible.

“The power generating plants in Nigeria have 11,165MW capacity.

“There are 23-26 power generating plants, out of which Jebba and Shiroro are hydro plants, suffering water management presently.

“The largest power plant (Egbin) is having a shortfall of 514MW and Geregu, 230MW, and many others.

“If the management of gas and water supply is adequately tracked and maintained with 11,165MW capacity, the realisation of 6,500MW will be a walkover for the minister without any further ado,” Olukayode noted.

He said that the privatisation of TCN might be an option but not necessarily the most appropriate panacea to the lingering power shortage.

Energy

Diesel price stands at N1341.16 in March 2024 – NBS

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The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said that the average retail price of a litre of diesel increased from N840.81 in March 2023 to N1341.16 in March 2024.

NBS stated this in its Diesel Price Watch for March 2024 released in Abuja on Thursday.

The report said that the March 2024 price of N1341.16 per litre amounted to a 59.51 per cent increase over the N840.81 paid in March 2023.

“On a month-on-month basis, the price increased by 6.69 per cent from the N1257.06 per litre recorded in February 2024,” it added.

On state profile analysis, the report said the highest average price of diesel in March 2024 was recorded in Edo at N1566.67 per litre, followed by Jigawa at N1533.33 and Cross River at N1532.71.

It stated that the lowest price was recorded in Plateau at N1067.25 per litre, followed by Niger at N1140.00 and Adamawa at N1175.

“In addition, the analysis by zones showed that the South-South had the highest price of N1419.35 per litre, while the North-Central recorded the lowest price at N1230.98.’’

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TCN deploys technology to detect sudden drop in power generation

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The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) says it has deployed a Generation Dip/Loss Detection System (GLDS) which detects and responds to sudden drops or dips in power generation.

The General Manager, Public Affairs, TCN, Mrs Ndidi Mbah said in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday that the deployment of the GLDs was part of the company’s efforts to enhance grid management.

“As TCN continues to make efforts to enhance grid management, its engineers have recently deployed the GLDS which plays a pivotal role in detecting and responding to sudden drops or dips in power generation across the network.

“This innovation stands as a testament to TCN’s commitment to advancing grid management capabilities.

“Designed to empower the National Control Centre (NCC) in Osogbo, GLDS provides grid controllers in NCC with advanced tools for real-time monitoring and analysis of grid performance,” she said.

Mbah said that the GLDS intuitive interface allows for the setting of parameters, continuous monitoring of power generating stations, and comprehensive reporting functionalities, enabling swift responses to grid disturbances.

She said that the GLDS incorporates sophisticated data analytics and machine learning processes to analyse real-time data and identify patterns associated with sudden generation loss.

“By leveraging anomaly detection techniques, GLDS can promptly alert grid controllers on deviations from normal grid behaviour, facilitating proactive intervention to prevent widespread disruptions.

“TCN ensures seamless communication between GLDS and Internet of Things (IoT) cloud servers, enabling more rapid response and coordination of mitigation strategies.

“This connectivity underscores TCN’s commitment to enhancing grid resilience and ensuring the uninterrupted delivery of electricity to consumers across the country,” she said.

Mbah said that previously, TCN engineers had developed an in-house design that leverages IOT technology as an innovative solution in response to the challenge of limited visibility of power generators.

According to her, the IOT devices, which were strategically deployed across power stations and some substations, facilitate the collection of near real-time data, including power generation levels and grid performance metrics.

“The IOT enabled the expansion of visibility of power generating stations from 6 to 27, this has helped TCN significantly improve its ability to monitor grid load and identify potential issues before they escalate.

“Recently, the IOT device was also used to capture generation from Taopex GS and Zungeru Hydro Power Stations, bringing the total number of power stations visible to the national grid to 29.

“GLDS and the IOT represent a significant step forward in bolstering grid stability and reliability,” she said.

Mbah said that these initiatives would empower TCN’s grid controllers with the insights needed to proactively address challenges and minimise disruptions.

“As well as demonstrates TCN’s dedication to meeting the evolving demands Of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI),” she said.

 

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Energy

FG, PETAN to collaborate on oil, gas development

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The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Mr Heineken Lokpobiri has expressed the Federal Government’s readiness to collaborate with the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) to increase the country’s oil production and revenue.

Lokpobiri said that the partnership became necessary to address the dwindling oil production and the need to drive investment in the nation’s oil and gas sector.

The minister gave the assurance during his visit to members of PETAN in Lagos on Wednesday.

Lokpobiri said that the federal government was putting up measures to restore oil production, adding that there is a need for the ministry and PETAN to work together to maximise all available opportunities that can help increase production in the country.

According to him, the quickest way for the country to overcome the current economic hardship is through the exploration and production of oil and gas.

He added, therefore, that the government is actively engaged in policy evolution, aimed at maximising the utilisation of all available oil and gas wells in the country.

Lokpobiri said, “No country leaves their well idle, in Nigeria, so many seismic activities have been done and we have a lot of oil wells that are yet to be utilised.

“Imagine, one of the OML’s has about 150 idle wells. There is no way we can increase production if these wells continue to be idle.

“The wells have already been drilled and capped since the 1970s. These are low-hanging fruits.

“Part of our policy direction is to see how we can farm out some of these idle wells for proper utilisation.

“Now that the world is transitioning to cleaner energy, the country must use the available time to maximise the utilisation of the wells to increase production.

‘’Except we increase our production, our midstream and downstream will continue to suffer.

“So, I believe that I and PETAN need to work together so that we can maximise the opportunities the industry can avail us, for the economic prosperity and development of the nation,” he added.

Lokpobiri said he had made a strong commitment to work with PETAN and other Nigerians in the oil and gas sector, who have shown proven capacity to ensure the growth of the sector.

He expressed conviction that the solution to Nigeria’s energy poverty lies with every stakeholder.

He noted that nobody or nation would come to salvage the nation’s oil and gas industry except Nigerians.

The Minister said if Nigerians are allowed to play at the desirable level, there will be a lot of improvement in the petroleum sector.

He also pointed out that the essence of the Local Content Law was to enable Nigerians to build strong capacity to be able to play side-by-side with their international counterparts.

“In line with NUPRC’s statutory declaration, Nigeria now boasts of 37.5 billion crude oil reserves, while its total gas resources as of the beginning of this year, now stands at 209.26 TCF.”

The Minister said the President Bola Tinubu-led administration was doing all it could to take the nation to a better economic standing in the comity of the nations.

He affirmed that one of the cardinal points of the president was to address the nation’s energy poverty, noting that as the world is transiting, the nation must address its challenges to enable it transit as well.

Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of PETAN, Mr Wole Ogunsanya, reiterated the association’s commitment to supporting the minister and all the efforts of President Tinubu toward increasing oil production and development of the energy sector.

He also called on the government to see how it could grant incentives to stakeholders to ensure better output and economic benefit for the industry and the nation at large.

Ogunsanya said, “Honourable Minister, we thank you and assure you that we will continue to align ourselves with the vision of the president.

“And as we have continually said, the nation must show its indigenous capacity to explore and drill oil 100 percent.”

He expressed PETAN members’ readiness to help in the development of the Nigerian oil and gas sector.

Also speaking, the Publicity Secretary of PETAN,  Dr Innocent Akuvue, thanked the minister for making out time to visit the association.

He assured the minister of the association’s support to the ministry always.

“Minister, we thank you for this wonderful visit and we want to assure you that PETAN is solidly behind you and Mr President.

“By God’s grace we will not fail to support the vision and aspirations of the president in boosting the economic situation of the country,” he said.

PETAN is an association of Nigerian indigenous technical oilfield service companies in the upstream and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry.

The association was formed to bring together Nigerian oil and gas entrepreneurs to create a forum for the exchange of ideas with the major operators and policymakers.

One of the association’s core objectives is to plan on how to acquire, develop, advance and promote petroleum technology for the benefit of Nigerians.

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