THE federal government has said some of the power plants constructed under the National Integrated Power Projects, NIPPs, are contributing 2500 megawatts, MW, of electricity to the national grid. Chinedu Nebo, minister of power, stated this during the inauguration of the 750 megawatts Olorunsogo Phase-2, in Ogun State by President Goodluck Jonathan.
The minister noted that while other traditional power plants that were privatised in the government’s power reforms exercise were already gaining back their nameplate generation capacities following their refurbishments by their new owners, the NIPP plants were already contributing much. The government recently inaugurated the 434megawatts Geregu and 500megawatts Omotosho power plants in Kogi and Ondo states, respectively.
“Today, NIPP contribution to the national grid stands at about 2,500MW on regular basis as efforts are being made on the part of privatised generation companies to revamp their generation units, increase available generation capacity with a view to achieving a more robust power generation profile for the country. Ughelli power plant, which at the time it was privatised in 2013 was barely able to generate 160mw, is today capable of generating 610MW, with a target of 850MW by end of 2015. Egbin power plant has succeeded in recovering all its installed capacity of 1320MW with the installation a new 220MW turbine,” he said.
Nebo stated that Kainji hydro power plant with one unit working upon takeover at 80MW has today improved to 150MW and will add another 80MW to bring its capacity to 230MW in the next two weeks. The World Bank, he said will also complete its retrofitting on three more units of Kainji to add 340MW to its capacity by end of March, while Jebba power plant with original capacity of 450MW will add another 96MW to its capacity after an ongoing retrofitting.
He also said Shiroro would have its fourth unit added to upgrade it to 600MW. On the challenges of gas supply to power plants due to constant vandalism of pipelines, Nebo said currently, the major challenge to increased power generation is limitation in gas supply as a result of the activities of vandals who are bent on visiting hardship on the entire nation.
“This is despite the fact that unprecedented collaboration between the ministries of power and petroleum resources has resulted in significantly more gas being made available for power generation. Whilst a lot has been done to implement security measures to dissuade these enemies of national progress, it behoves on all Nigerians to do more to co-operate with security agencies in a bid to oust these vandals and bring them to justice. Their activities have wreaked untold havoc on our efforts to drive darkness away from our land.”
60,000 Barrels of Crude Oil Stolen Daily
CONTRARY to the reports that 400,000 barrels of crude oil are being stolen daily in Nigeria by oil thieves, Emmanuel Uduaghan, Delta State governor, has said the actual volume stolen daily is 60,000 barrels. He noted that the 60,000 barrels per day stolen by thieves is still unacceptably high as some oil companies operating in the country do not produce up to such volume.
“When you hear 400,000 barrels per day, it does not mean that it is 400,000 barrels that is stolen. What it simply means is that in the process of stealing the crude, it affects some of the oil wells. So, the operators shut down the wells. When they shut down like that, they are not producing like 300,000 barrels per day. There is no time the stealing has been more than 100,000 barrels per day. In fact, that was at its peak. In fact, right now, it is less than 60,000 barrels per day. But even at 60,000 barrels per day, it is still unacceptably high because not many companies produce up to 60, 000 barrels per day,” he said.
Uduaghan, who spoke as chairman of Presidential Committee on Anti-Pipeline Vandalism, in Ogun State, said the federal government had mapped out various strategies to tackle crude oil theft and vandalism. According to him, there are immediate and long term strategies that have been put in place by the security agencies, who are working directly with President Goodluck Jonathan.
“Now, the immediate security strategy is for the security agencies to be reinforced and that is what we are doing. They are being reinforced in their activities and they are patrolling more than ever before and are also dealing with crude oil theft more. On the bigger scale, there is international corroboration on the crude oil theft. I mean, some of the oil that is stolen, about 80 percent is exported. It is only 20 percent that is being used by the local refineries. What I mean by local refineries are those illegal refineries. Of course, those illegal refineries are being destroyed. So, for the 80 percent that is being exported, the federal government is working with various countries; there is international collaboration because there is a destination, which is the big refineries outside this country; they use these refineries. So, the federal government is working with various countries to be able to identify these refineries that use stolen crude and of course, ensure that the crude don’t get there.”
Uduaghan said the local strategies being adopted to check the activities of crude oil thieves include surveillance and use of better pipelines to convey crude. “Of course, the oil companies have to change their pipelines in the long run. They have to change them to pipelines that are very sensitive such that when thieves try to break them, it can be detected in a control room.”
The governor stated apart from the solutions being deployed by the federal government, the Delta State government has also developed local solutions involving the engagement of host communities. “For us in Delta State, for instance, we have been engaging the communities and educating them on the dangers of pipeline vandalism because vandalism, first of all, leads to spills and oil spills affect the environment,” he said.
— Mar. 9, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT