Kainji, Jebba stations plan electricity export to Burkina Faso

The concessionaire of Kainji and Jebba hydro power stations, Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited, has said it is in talks with Burkina Faso for the sale of the stranded power in the stations.

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, MESL, Mr Lamu Audu, stated this on Thursday at the PwC’s Annual Power and Utilities Roundtable in Lagos.

MESL, which was incorporated and licensed as a power generating company in 2011, acquired Kainji and Jebba power plants through a concession agreement in November 2013 following the privatisation of the power sector.

Audu, who spoke during a panel session at the event, said when the firm took over in 2013, Kainji, which had an installed capacity of 760MW, had no single generating unit in operation.

He said Jebba had an installed capacity of 578.4MW, with six generating units, adding that the firm took over five generating units that had never been overhauled for 30 years.

He said, “As we speak today, we generate 20 to 25 per cent of the energy going onto the grid. We have ramped up our capacity at Kainji from zero to 440MW. At Jebba, what we concentrated on is the reliability of the existing units. We utilised the capacity of our staff to be able to recover some of the units.

“Currently, we have a capacity of 922MW but, on the average, it is only 600MW to 650MW that is utilised. So, we have stranded energy, which is seriously impacting on our ability to attract more funding for capacity recovery and capacity expansion.”

Asked when Nigerians would be able to enjoy uninterrupted power supply, Audu said, “I am complaining that I have energy that cannot be utilised. And some of us are actually looking beyond the borders of Nigeria to sell our power if the Nigerian market cannot take it because we have to remain in business; we have responsibilities to our shareholders.

“Investments have been made, and that is why we are looking into the West African market. Honestly, we are already talking to Burkina Faso; they approached us and we are willing to have deals with them to sell power to them. They are willing to buy.”

He described the Nigerian power situation as “so complex,” saying it would take about 20 years for the country to achieve uninterrupted power supply to everybody.
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