The Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) says it is seeking the support of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to develop small and medium hydro projects in the country.
NDPHC Managing Director, Mr Chiedu Ugbo, disclosed this in a statement by Mrs Olufunke Nwankwo, Head, Communication and Public Relations NDPHC, in Abuja on Wednesday.
Ugbo, who stated this during a visit to the Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, noted that the company plans to set up small hydro plants in existing dams in the northern part of the country.
He said: “We want to start discussing with your ministry on how we can develop small hydro resources around the country, preferably, in the northern part because of the quality of electricity in the area.
“Though the company has ten power generation plants with eight linked to the national grid with about 4,099 megawatts (MW) most of which are located in the southern part of the country.
“But we are unable to generate optimally due to poor transmission and distribution infrastructure,” he said.
Ugbo said that NDPHC had also invested in solar home systems, adding that the company started from not just underserved, but un-served communities.
He said the company did 20,000 solar home systems in the first phase and has started the second phase in Kazaure Emirate in Jigawa State with 100,000 connections.
“But, having developed our thermal plants reasonably, we thought it is time to move to the next phase of our project development.
“That phase is where after optimising gas resources, we have to optimise other resources we have for power generation.
“In renewable energy, we are working on solar, not just stand alone, but also mini-grid and on utility scale, that is on one side.
“We also thought that part of the programme is the hydroelectric and the best way to start it is the dams,” he said.
Ugbo said the company was interested in the dams especially those with hydroelectric capabilities already installed or can be recovered.
Welcoming his guests, Adamu explained that the country has over 240 dams with most of them having the capacity for hydro power.
He pointed out that the dams have the capacity from 40MW and below, stating that most of the projects were halted because of poor planning.
The minister explained that most irrigation projects in the country require a lot of water which also needs a lot of electricity to operate.
He, therefore, urged NDPHC to instal solar projects in the irrigation areas.