FG issues 95 licences to boost electricity generation by 989MW

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The Federal Government issued 95 licences, permits and registration certificates for the generation of 989.42 megawatts of electricity in 2023 as part of measures to shore up Nigeria’s power production.

An analysis of the latest industry figures seen in Abuja on Friday showed that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, an agency of the Federal Government, issued power generation licences, permits, and certificates to investors.

Nigeria generates between 4,000 and 5,000MW of electricity, with a target of hitting 6,000MW by December this year.

On Friday, for instance, the country’s power generation on the national grid as of 6 am was 4,096.02MW.

It was observed that in the first quarter of 2023, NERC issued 12 licences and permits, and approved four mini-grids registrations for the production of 723MW of electricity.

It issued 13 permits in the second quarter for the generation of 20.06MW of power.

In the third quarter, the regulator issued 18 licences and permits for the generation of 43.18MW of electricity, while the commission issued 48 licences, permits, and registration certificates for the generation of 203.18MW of electricity in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Providing a breakdown of what it issued during the review period, NERC said, “The commission approved the issuance of two new generation licences with a combined capacity of 723MW in 2023/Q1.

“Five captive power generation permits were issued alongside five permits and four registrations for mini-grids.”

In the second quarter, the regulator stated that it also “issued three new captive power generation permits with an aggregate capacity of 20.06MW and 10 mini-grid permits”.

The commission noted that in the third quarter of last year “five new (8.81MW) and three amendments (10.50MW) of off-grid generation licences” were issued.

It further stated that “one new (5MW) and one renewal (10MW) licence for embedded generation,” as well as “three captive generation permits (7.07MW) and five mini-grid permits (1.8MW)” were issued in Q3, 2023.

For licensing and permits issued to increase power generation in the fourth quarter, NERC said it issued, “Two new off-grid generation licences with gross capacity of 7.5MW. Two new embedded generation licences with a gross capacity of 40MW.

“Renewal of one embedded generation licence (20MW). Four captive generation permits (gross capacity – 131.78MW). Eight mini-grid permits (gross capacity – 2.5MW); and 31 mini-grid registration certificates (gross capacity – 1.4MW).”

Commenting on electricity generation, the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, stated on Friday that the Federal Government was currently investing in new power plants.

Adelabu, who spoke during an energy conference in Lagos, noted, “To address our generation capacity, we are committed to both enhancing current generating assets and investing in new power plants.

“Our focus is on harnessing the rich diversity of our natural resources, from hydro to solar and beyond. Recently, generation capacity to the grid has been expanded with the addition of 700MW newly commissioned Zungeru Hydropower Plant.

“We have also secured presidential approval to defray legacy debts to gas companies to allow efficient gas supply to the power sector going forward and a payment mechanism to address generation companies’ debts to ensure necessary maintenance is resolved and evacuation capacity optimisation.”

The minister stated that the government aimed to not only increase generation capacity but also improve the efficiency and reliability of power supply.

Adelabu also pointed out that the government was working through the Presidential Power Initiative on expanding the transmission grid to ensure it can handle the increased load from new electricity generation sources.

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