BEDC restores power supply to Benin metropolis, assures of improved supply soon
The management of BEDC Electricity Plc. (BEDC) has disclosed that it has restored power supply back to some of Benin metropolis after the recent outage which reduced supply to major parts of the city up till December 2018. The restoration was made possible due to the release of one replacement transformer by TCN out of the two TCN Transformers that have in out from October 2018.
In a statement by its management, BEDC said the power outage was due to the failure of two out of the three Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) power transformers wheeling power to BEDC for distribution to customers in major parts of Benin metropolis.
“Power availability in several locations is thus now restored to between 6 and 24 hours based on the normal load management schedule. In addition, some of the remaining areas that were still on between three and nine hours will gradually be normalised as TCN progress with the restoration of the second TCN transformer.
BEDC explained that while the initial outage lasted, it had to, as a stop gap measure, restore power supply at an average of six hours daily availability to most of the affected areas by connecting several of the customers on the affected TCN transformers to the only existing functional TCN transformer in a manner that did not overload the system and to provide supply albeit on limited basis pending when normal supply will resume after the replacement of the remaining faulty TCN transformers.
Meanwhile, the management of BEDC has affirmed that it would continue to improve on service delivery to customers in its franchise states including Edo state. For Edo state in particular, independent investigation done after the recent publication by BEDC, confirms that the reduction in supply to Benin metropolis occasioned by the failed 2No 60MVA TCN power transformers has been partly addressed by the replacement of one of the failed transformers by TCN.
The distribution company (Disco) informed that Edo State alone gets a monthly average supply of 127.31 Megawatts of electricity which translates into 43.43 per cent of total BEDC supply, based on its nine per cent allocation from the national grid, stressing “this means that Edo State has the highest electricity supply amongst the four states in our franchise areas. We intend to continue to work towards ensuring that various bottlenecks across the power value chain, especially in relation to transmission bottleneck from TCN are eliminated to the benefit of our customers in all our franchise states.“
we shall further accelerate the metering of consumers with effect from first quarter of 2019 when the scheme is expected to kick off, in order to rapidly reduce estimated billing.
‘’It is thus incorrect that BEDC has not been responsive to community related issues, as we have been addressing communities’ related issues and will continue to partner with the state in addressing the challenges of the communities currently without power supply. In Edo state over 12 communities in Ikpoba Hill, including (Ikhueniro 1&2), Idunowina, Idokpai also, Ikomi in Uromi business unit, Ugbogui in Okada, Miracle Centre 2 under GRA, Benin and Evboligun in Sokponba area of Benin have been reconnected as at end of November 2018.”
According to BEDC, since it commenced operation five years ago, management has put in place a lot measures that has improved power availability to major parts of Edo state the details of which was published in some national newspapers; the Punch and Vanguard and submitted to the Edo State Government on request, adding, “ we have received numerous positive feedback in terms of testimonials from various categories of customers be it industrial, commercial, residential and communities in our franchise states including Edo state based on our bold steps toward improving service delivery.
Speaking further on the accusation that Azura power plant generates 600 megawatts of electricity to cater for Edo State use and BEDC is refusing to use it for the State. It was discovered that, like all major power generation stations in the country, all power generated from the Azura Power station in Edo State is going straight to the National grid for use of the whole of Nigeria. BEDC cannot control and should not be blamed for this, as it is an official contract between the Federal Government and Azura Power, which has nothing to do with BEDC. On the claim that BEDC is rejecting power, the company says it takes its nine per cent allocation from the national grid and that the allegation that it was not giving the state enough power is equally untrue, as over 40 per cent of its allocation or more than fair share of power to the four states (Edo, Delta, Ondo, Ekiti) under BEDC franchise is what is given to Edo in view of its load consumption and network. Indeed though BEDC allocation share is nine per cent, in 2018 it utilised 9.4 per cent, hence load rejection allegation is baseless.
On Ossiomo Power and Infrastructure Company project, investigation revealed that the proposed project is not being done to give power to the public but to provide divert power to a few Government offices along Sapele road, using the NERC Eligible customer programme. Amount of initial power of between two to five megawatt involved will not have any impact on the improvement in power to residences or communities in Benin. BEDC has also been working with the Government and Ossiomo in this regard,in addition on how to offtake balance power to companies and new zones to be created, but with to ensuringe that project is within the ambit of the law, without jeopardizing power supply, cost of power, public procurement process and security to the general public customers. It is noted however that the aspects of the matter that may trespass on the rights of BEDC and its customers was before a competent court of law.