In a significant stride towards improving Nigeria’s electricity supply, the Federal Government, in partnership with the Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC), has successfully increased the power capacity of the national grid from 13,000 megawatts to an impressive 14,000 megawatts.
This remarkable achievement was announced by Dr. Joy Ogaji, the Executive Secretary of APGC, during the Association of Energy Correspondents of Nigeria’s 2023 annual international strategic conference.
The cornerstone of this power capacity expansion was the commissioning of the state-of-the-art $1.3 billion Zungeru hydroelectric plant, located in Niger state, in the second quarter of the year.
Dr. Ogaji highlighted the significance of this new addition, emphasizing that it played a pivotal role in bolstering the national grid’s capacity.
“The national grid now boasts an installed power generation capacity of approximately 14,000 megawatts, primarily owing to the successful integration of the Zungeru plant,” Dr. Ogaji explained.
She also encouraged potential investors to consider partnering with the power generation companies (Gencos) in further advancing Nigeria’s energy sector.
Earlier in the year, the Federal Government announced Mainstream Energy Solution Limited as the preferred bidder for the concession of the Zungeru plant, a concession that included an annual fee of $700 million for a 30-year operating period.
However, despite this milestone, it’s worth noting that the on-grid peak power generation, as reported by the Nigerian Electricity System Operator, currently stands at 4,803.60 megawatts.
This discrepancy raises questions about the practical utilization of the increased capacity and highlights the ongoing challenges in fully harnessing Nigeria’s power potential.
Experts in the field have argued that to achieve energy sufficiency and meet the nation’s growing demands, Nigeria needs to aim for a power generation capacity of at least 30,000 megawatts.
While the recent progress is commendable, it underscores the need for continued investment and development in the power sector to bridge the gap between capacity and actual utilization.
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