Advancing power supply via local content
The engagement of competent indigenous firms to carry out major works in the Nigerian power sector could make a significant difference in in ramping up power supply in-country
There’s no gainsaying that power supply remains a major problem in Nigeria, with severe challenges in the entire value chain of the system, including generation, transmission and distribution.
But with still a long way to go to improving supply and stimulating growth in the economy , vandalism of electrical installations and equipment across the nation remains a major challenge.
Although Nigeria has 23 generating plants with the capacity to send 12,000 megawatts to the national grid, but less than 7, 000 megawatts is generated, transmitted and distributed at the moment. However, analysts say that the country could need about 40,000 megawatts to have stable supply in Nigeria.
Many promises have gone unfulfilled, but the recent approval by the Federal Executive Council (FEC), of a $61. 5 million, and N16. 3 billion contract to procure transmission line materials and the construction of 15 kilometres turn-in-turn-out substations across the country could make a marked improvement in supply.
With documented projects to realise its power sector reform agenda, the Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, recently disclosed that the $61.5 million and the onshore component of N145 million had been approved for ‘reconductoring’ works for the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
According to him, another approval was sought and given in respect of the award of contract for the Akure-Ado-Ekiti 132 single-circuit transmission line in Akure at the cost of $2.5 million with an onshore component of N988.5 million.
To play a major role in bringing these projects to life, the Nigerian government says, is a Nigerian firm, Laga CePower Limited, which it adds has the full capacity and credibility to carry out some of the critical works.
“By the time we are able to energise the Akure line, this project would have been completed so that the whole area will have no problem with electricity. This project will be completed in 12 months and was also approved by the council,” Aliyu stressed recently while announcing Laga CePower as the key entity to accomplish the assignment.
New substation, transmission Lines
The minister remarked that another memo approved had five projects that included the installation of a 132, 33kV substation and transmission lines across different locations in the country for the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) in favour of several local contractors for $53m; N15.6bn onshore sum.
“The projects are all similar – that is, to design, supply and install two by 60MVA 132, 33kV transmission sub-stations across the country,” he noted.
Giving additional breakdown of the projects, Aliyu said there was also a substation project in Misau in Bauchi State, another in Mashi in Katsina and one in Apir and North bank in Makurdi, Benue State.
He added that the TCN was also executing a project of 60MVA transformer substation at the Ebonyi State University, and also one at the Ebonyi airport. In Kano, he explained that the TCN was delivering a 30km transmission line from Rimin Zakara to Kayin in Kano.
“So, these are the various projects that constitute the various amounts– offshore of $53m and the onshore component of N15.6bn,”Aliyu clarified.
Managing Director of the firm, Rhoda Afolabi, in a chat, reiterated that the company has an ‘impeccable’ track record of performance, having completed strategic power projects across the country before the latest round.
“We have completed the mechanised maintenance work of the Benin-Onitsha transmission lines, construction of new Abeokuta- Igboora Lalante transmission lines, Shagamu outdoor substations as well as the construction the of 132/33 kv D/C Bays extension in Ikorodu and Shagamu Lagos,” she said.
According to her, other construction works carried out by the indigenous company are the the 2×60 MVA, 132/33KV at Odogunyan, 2x60MVA, 132/33KV at Ayobo and Ikeja, construction and furnishing of the 250 capacity lecture hall and the supply of special sports equipment at the 29th National sports festival. “It is a Nigerian company with 90 percent local content,” she added.
It was further learnt that the power firm also received commendation from by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, in a letter in which he referred to the firm as having ‘very impressive track records’. “This to me is quite encouraging and a good motivation for us to do more,” Afolabi added.
She appealed for more opportunities to build more challenging projects in the country. “As a female entrepreneur in a male dominated field, I can assure you that I will continue to work extra hard to ensure that we continue to excel and stand out in projects in the power sector,” she explained.
She however lauded the federal government for its support for indigenous entrepreneurs and companies, noting that “this is the only way we can continue to build local capacity.”
Also, during a recent visit to Osinbanjo, the power firm which also fabricates and manages engineering works, in an industry dominated by foreign engineers and electrical contractors, told Osinbajo that the company will continue to maintain standards to ensure that local companies become a force to reckon with in the country.
“Our mission is to provide the highest quality services in Nigeria’s energy, oil, and gas sector, while being the catalyst behind industry progress every single day,” she pointed out.
In addition, a major stakeholder in the sector, the Managing Director TCN, Sule Abdulaziz, has been speaking on the work put in by Laga Cepower limited to raise the rating of local firms.
Executing power projects
While thanking the company for its leading role in executing power projects, especially in terms of competence and local content, Abdulaziz said the company had also provided employment and career progression for practitioners in the engineering and power sector to drive needed growth.
He noted that the substation in Akure, which had been completed for over two years ago could not be energised because of the absence of the line which was supposed to come from Benin under construction and was encountering right of way issues.
On the importance of the projects, he said: “This project is 132 lines from the Akure substation going to Akure-Ado-Ekiti and it is simultaneously going on with the Benin North-Akure line.
“By the time we are able to energise the Akure line, this project would have been completed so that the whole area will have no problem with electricity. This project will be completed in 12 months and was also approved by the council.”