The management of Egbin Power Plc, Nigeria’s largest power plant, has threatened to shut down operation owing to non-payment of N110billion debt. This may throw a huge segment of the population into blackout.
The plant has 1320megawatts (Mw) capacity.
Its Managing Director, Mr. Dallas Peavey, yesterday in Lagos lamented that the huge debt has caused serious liquidity problem to the firm coupled with gas supply and transmission challenges. The problems, according to him, have stretched the company to its limit, adding that by next week, the firm may close shop, which will push the country into another round of blackout.
Peavey told reporters that the plant was being gradually forced to shut down due to debt and adverse effect of grid instability that endangers its turbines. He identified inadequate gas supply to generate at optimal capacity as another challenge.
According to him, the planned shutdown of the plant may cause Nigeria’s electricity supply, which recently witnessed improvement to get worse in the coming weeks.
Peavey said: “Egbin power plant is one of the biggest single power generating stations in Africa with an installed capacity of 1320 Mw consisting of six units of 220Mw each.
“Following the conclusion of the government’s privatisation exercise in November 2013, the consortium formed by the partnership between New Electricity Distribution Company and the Korean Electric Power Corporation (NEDC/KEPCO) acquired Egbin Power.” He added that the effect of the debt has become worse for the company.
He said: “We owe the gas companies and have others like our technical partners (KEPCO) to pay, and importantly our lenders, the banks. We have made massive investments in making the plant available to generate electricity sustainably but unfortunately, we can’t break even due to the gross inefficiency in the value chain.
“The government guarantees to pay us for every megawatt we generate and sell to NBET but they have not done that. We just got paid for the month of December 2016, three months later and we were only paid a paltry 28 per cent out of the total 100 per cent of the verified and accepted invoice for that month.”
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