Nigeria to Increase Power Generation 50% by 2012

Nigeria’s Federal Government has given the assurance of boosting power on the national grid from the current 4000 mega watts (MW) to 6000MW by 2012.

Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji, stated this in Osogbo, Osun State, at the weekend.

He said the government would complete the installation of the system control and data acquisition (SCADA) at Osogbo before the end of December this year.

Nnaji, who addressed newsmen during a two-day facility tour to the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) in Osogbo, said the essence of his visit was to ensure that national power supply was working and controlled effectively to serve the entire country, and also to improve on power generation, distribution and transmission.

SCADA is a control central tool for real time monitoring of power stations and sub-stations across the country. The device is also used to gather operational data from the stations via remote terminal units.

The minister added that the essence of his visit to TCN, Osogbo, was to see how power supply was controlled, as the findings would enable government to improve on the existing state of power generation and distribution in the country.

‘The system will be controlled from here, so that automatic control will ensure better regulation of power supply and stability,’ he said.

Nnaji noted that the contractor handling the project had guaranteed that the control mechanism would be installed before the end of the year, to avoid system failure.

Speaking on the boosting of power generation in the county, Nnaji said the efforts of government in building new power stations was to ensure that the national power stock hits 5000MW by December 2011. He added that government had also set the ball rolling to attain 6000MW by 2012.

Nnaji said the Ministry of Power had set in motion plans to increase Nigeria’s electricity generating capacity before the year runs out; the nation’s power stations nearing completion under the National Integrated Power Project, as well as existing power plants, would add about 600MW to the grid between now and December.

Mr. Jonathan Ndiagwalukwe, General Manger, System Operations, TCN, in his welcome address said the company had many challenges such as gas supply, distribution, poor performance of line relays and frequent tripping of critical transmission lines, among others.

Ndiagwalukwe said the completion and commissioning of the new SCADA had the potential of enhancing control of the national grid, adding that the one in use now had been in operation since 2001 and was monitored from the system at the supplementary national control centre at Shiroro, Niger state.

According to the TCN boss, the poor state of the distribution network made the station vulnerable to damage from rainstorm,.

He said whenever it rained, several distribution feeders tripped out. Other hurdles confronting the company include inadequate reactors for the voltage system, lack of high voltage nodes at Birnin-Kebbi and Onitsha, while Birnin-Kebbi and Osogbo each required an additional reactor to support the present ones.

He added that the northern part of the country suffered from low voltage due to the long distance between the region and the source of power and control.