Transcorp okays $2.5bn for Nigeria’s power sector

The Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc yesterday said it plans to invest $2.5 billion in the power sector to boost power supply across the country.

The investment will be made through its subsidiary, Transcorp Power Limited.

Transcorp Power has so far injected about $1 billion in projects with a combined capacity of 700Mw, Chairman, United Bank for Africa (UBA) and Transcorp Plc, Tony Elumelu said in Abuja.

The firm submitted a bid for Afam Electricity Generation Co. earlier this month, which operates a natural-gas-fired power generation plant in southern Rivers state. Two other offers were received, natural-gas-fired, the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) said, and if Transcorp Power acquires the facility, it would add 700Mw to the firm’s power portfolio.

“We’ve expressed interest in the acquisition of Afam power plant, which we’re going to spend a lot of money on. It’ll give us 1,400Mw and we can do more,” Elumelu said.

He said the power sector is riddled by debt and Transcorp Power is owed about N90 billion ($250 million). “If they’re owing you that kind of money, it affects your ability to do more and more importantly, slows your enthusiasm,” he said.

Africa’s most populous nation with almost 200 million people grapples a with a dire power supply which has impeded economic development for decades.

Generation peaked just below w 4,500 megawatts (Mw) on February 28, with a maximum capacity of 7,650Mw, according to the latest data from Ministry of Power. South Africa, with a population a third of Nigeria’s, has an installed generation capacity of more than 47,000Mw.

Under the current system, government-backed Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET) buys power from generating companies (GenCos)sells to distribution companies (DisCos) which have had problems paying NBET due to issues of collecting tips from consumers, leading to mounting liabilities.

In 2017, the Federal Government approved a $2.2 billion payment sells toe for GenCos to help alleviate money owed by distribution firms.

Elumelu declined to comment on reports that he is in talks to acquire two oil licenses from Royal Dutch Shell Plc. People familiar with the plan said in July that Heirs Holdings Ltd., another company run by the Elumelu, was discussing with Shell the purchase of oil mining licenses 11 and 17.

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