Elec­tric­ity: N20bn debt, forex scarcity threaten Kainji, Jebba op­er­a­tions

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - By Hamisu Muham­mad

The ac­cu­mu­la­tion of un­paid in­voices for Main­stream En­ergy So­lu­tions Lim­ited (MESL), the con­ces­sion­aire of the Kainji and Jebba Hy­dro plants and acute for­eign ex­change scarcity are af­fect­ing the com­pany’s abil­ity to ef­fec­tively sus­tain its oper­a­tion, the chair­man of the com­pany, re­tired Col. Sani Bello, has said.

Speak­ing yes­ter­day at the in­au­gu­ra­tion of the sev­en­mem­ber Charity Foun­da­tion of the com­pany in Abuja, Bello also said the dif­fi­cul­ties as­so­ci­ated with ob­tain­ing forex to im­port crit­i­cal spare parts, had re­duced their abil­ity to in­crease the gen­er­a­tion capacity of the com­pany.

The coun­try now heav­ily re­lies on the hy­dro power sta­tions with the drop in elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion from the gas-pow­ered sta­tions mostly in the Niger Delta re­gion. At the mo­ment the two hy­dro plants are gen­er­at­ing about 900mw, close to 40 per­cent of the to­tal power gen­er­a­tion of the coun­try.

Kainji and Jebba have in­stalled ca­pac­i­ties of 760mw and 578.4 mw re­spec­tively. The two power plants were handed over to MESL on Novem­ber 1, 2013 as part of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s power pri­vati­sa­tion pro­gramme.

Col Bello said be­side the debt, there was a de­lay in pay­ment of the power gen­er­ated since March this year from the reg­u­la­tory au­thor­i­ties and the Dis­tri­bu­tion com­pa­nies.

“The CBN in­ter­ven­tions to the sec­tor could not have come at a bet­ter pe­riod with­out which, our plants would have been forced to shut down op­er­a­tions,” the chair­man said.

He ap­pealed to the min­istry of power, Bureau of Pub­lic En­ter­prises, the Nige­rian Bulk Elec­tric­ity Trader and the Nige­ria Elec­tric­ity Reg­u­la­tory Com­mis­sion to en­sure that the debt bur­den borne by the gen­cos did not crip­ple them.

He said there were plans for the In­ter­na­tional Fi­nance Cor­po­ra­tion (IFC) to in­vest in the com­pany but that the un­paid bills had caused the deal to foot-drag.

The manag­ing di­rec­tor of the com­pany, Engr. Lamu Audu, said they recog­nised the need to work closely and im­pact on the lives of the host com­mu­ni­ties in the ar­eas of education, the en­vi­ron­ment and other so­cial is­sues such as water and san­i­ta­tion, job cre­ation, se­cu­rity, elec­tri­fi­ca­tion. AERO

jebba hy­dro dam ARIK AIR

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