Zungeru Power Shutdown: NERC Approves 450MW Settlement Deal 



Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, has given its nod to a deal for the procurement of 450 Megawatts, MW, of electricity from Zungeru Hydro Electricity Generation Company, ZHEGC, Limited.

The NERC, in a directive to that effect signed by its Vice-Chairman, Musiliu Oseni, acknowledged that the sub-optimal grid dispatch experienced on the national grid is partly occasioned by low generation thereby affecting the electricity distribution companies’ ability to deliver on the committed service levels to end-use customers due to frequent interruptions to manage transient and recurring grid imbalances.

The directive, said to have been issued further to the Commission’s Order No. NERC/2024/044 on the “Transmission System Dispatch Operation, Cross- Border Supply and Related Matters” and in the overriding public interest of ensuring continuous improvement in the supply of electricity to Nigerians, was to ensure grid stability and to prevent shutdown of the newly completed Zungeru hydropower plant pending when it gets off-takers.

The commission, according to reports, disclosed that the Zungeru Hydro Electricity Generation Company had successfully concluded its initial capacity testing on May 15, with a demonstrated average generation capacity of 600MW.

According to the electricity umpire, the Zungeru power company, which currently has no contract with off-takers had indicated its decision to shut down the plant after the capacity test pending the finalisation of contractual arrangements with its prospective off-takers.

To avoid this, the regulator said it decided to ensure the power plant remains on the grid and continues to inject power to improve service delivery to electricity consumers in Nigeria.

Hence, the commission granted a special dispensation that permits the Independent System Operator of the Transmission Company of Nigeria to assume responsibility for the administration of settlement for power wheeled from Zungeru for an initial period of 105 days commencing from 0.00Hrs of May 16.

“Given the overriding public interest, the Commission has granted a special dispensation that permits the Independent System Operator of the Transmission Company of Nigeria to assume responsibility for the administration of settlement for power wheeled from ZHEGC for an initial period of 105 days commencing from 0.00Hrs of the 16th May 2024″, the NERC directive read partly.

To avoid the perpetual practice of limiting DisCos load offtake as a corrective mechanism for system imbalances, the commission directed the TCN-ISO to enter into an interim energy sales agreement on a best-effort basis with ZHEGC for up to 450MW of energy and capacity to address the imbalances currently experienced between generation and offtake and further strengthen grid management.

On the administration of the agreement, the directive stated, “For every settlement cycle following the commencement of the agreement, ZHEGC shall invoice the Market Operator for capacity and energy based on the metered energy generated as contained in the Final Settlement Statement. 

“The MO shall issue two settlement statements to the DisCos; one for the settlement of the transmission and market administration services. The second invoice shall reflect the energy from ZHEGC allocated to the DisCos on a pro-rata basis using the total energy offtake by DisCos for the month.

“The settlement for the energy supplied from ZHEGC shall be prioritised from the market revenue administered by Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry Stabilisation Securities Limited.

“NESI-SSL shall pay the Market Operator the full value of ZHEGC’s energy invoiced to the DisCos for onward payment to ZHEGC in line with the terms of the interim energy sales agreement”.

The Zungeru power plant is a major infrastructure project with the capacity to generate 700MW, making it the second-largest hydroelectric plant in Nigeria, behind the Kainji Dam.

Located in the Kaduna River, near the town of Zungeru in Niger State, the plant is to generate 2.64 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, meeting nearly 10% of Nigeria’s domestic energy needs.

The Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, had recently disclosed that power generation in the country rose to 4,800MW following the completion of the Zungeru power plant.


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