Revelling in its recent peak power generation of 4,517.6 megawatts (MW), the Federal Government yesterday said that it plans to grow Nigeria's power generation capacity to 10,000MW by the fourth quarter of 2013.
In a presentation on the power sector made in Abuja to the Presidential Action Committee on Power (PACP), the Minister of State for Power, Hajiya Zainab Kuchi, said the government plans to achieve the 10,000MW target by diversifying Nigeria's energy mix to include other renewable sources of energy.
Kuchi, in the presentation, which was also made available to reporters yesterday at a capacity building workshop for energy correspondents, stated that the government plans to equally scale up rural access to electricity in 2013.
She however did not give a breakdown on the amount of electricity that will be generated from the various renewable energy sources available to Nigeria.
Nigeria currently generates and distributes 4,517.6MW of electricity, meaning that an extra 5,482.4MW would have to be generated to meet the 10,000MW target by the fourth quarter.
However, the minister's rather ambitious target of 10,000MW way exceeds a more realistic target unfolded by one of the executives of a Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) successor company last December.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Egbin Power Company Limited, Mr. Mike Uzoigwe, had at a performance signing agreement with Kuchi last month disclosed that power generation in the country would peak at 6,873MW by the end of 2013.
Uzoigwe had disclosed that the various successor generation companies of PHCN as well as National Independent Power Projects (NIPPs) would collectively generate 6,873MW by the end of 2013, with PHCN generating 3,879MW while the NIPPs will add the extra 2,500MW to bring available capacity to 6,873MW by the close of 2013.
He stated that the target was part of the outcome of the meeting between Kuchi, the Presidential Task Force on Power (PTFP) and CEOs of PHCN successor companies, which had reviewed the capacity and performance of all generation stations.
Uzoigwe said: "Some of the NIPP units have been fully commissioned but cannot run due to gas supply associated problems. The Geregu power plant still experiences gas shortage."
But Kuchi in her presentation to PACP noted that the ministry would in its 2013 workout plans and goals, stimulate investment in the sector through improved bilateral relations, source for funding for power transmission projects outside budgetary provisions, and at the same time focus on developing new policy initiatives to address post privatisation challenges in the sector.
While explaining to PACP the progress made in power transmission, the minister said: "239km of 330kV transmission lines had bee completed for commissioning, 21km of 132kV transmission lines had been completed, 600MVA 330/132/33kV substation capacity had been commissioned, 420MVA 132/33kV substation capacity had been commissioned, and a African Development Bank (AfDB) loan has been concluded to support transmission."
She also stated that priority attention will be given to off-grid renewable energy projects by the ministry, for which a policy framework on renewable energy was being finalised, adding that a transaction adviser has been appointed for concession of small and medium hydro power projects, while the 40MW Kashimbilla hydro power plant will be completed in 2013.