PH Electric embarks on network expansion

Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) says it has embarked on network expansion to reach more customers and improve on power availability in the South South, declaring the region as the worst in abuse of right of way (RoW) and utility corridors.
Shell has cried out over this through the years. 
The chief operating officer, Kingsley Achife, told BusinessDay in an exclusive interview in Port Harcourt that the PHED was poised to join in economic boost by supplying more power to help in job creation.
This is against energy theft and revenue sabotage of over N2 billion per month whereby not up to N2 billion is recovered every month when power worth over N4.3 billion is distributed to consumers.
Achife however said network expansion was one of the obligations handed down to the Discos by the regulator to serve the customers better. “We have identified 41 circuits we are to work on. We have done quite a number of it and we have started from the Trans-Amadi area.
“We have done a number of networks, and one is from Trans-Amadi that feeds into the Stadium Road to serve all those hotels there. If we can make PH industries competitive, we would be creating jobs and make the city more liveable by helping people to work.
“Since we do not have enough power supply, we make sure that those people who create jobs are served to make their products cheaper and competitive. We have done that in Trans-Amadi, Oyigbo Industrial area from a feeder from our Elelenwo transmission station.”
He said PHED had worked at the Airport Road that takes care of the airport and the industries and schools around there, including granite industries on the new express road in the Greater Port Harcourt city.
“It is going to support ventures such as Brookstone, Salvation Ministries, etc that require this kind of service. When people leave their homes, they seek to have power to work. A man running diesel produces one kilowatt at about N80, but ours is less than N40, that is about half. If you check what is produced with our power, you see the difference in running diesel most of the time,” he said.
Akwa Ibom State seems to be the new focus. “In Uyo, we recently commissioned the 4-lane which is a 2x15MVA plus another four 11KV lines that serve the Osahama estate, Eweta Housing area and Brook areas and Shelter Afrique.
“We have one new line to serve the permanent site of Uniuyo and the Le Meridian Hotel, some bakeries, some commercial ventures that we want to hook onto that line. We have a new line we call Feeder 3 that goes straight t Breweries and commercial entities around there, plus banks and printing businesses.
“We are doing this kind of thing in Calabar but we suffered some setbacks when we lost a 15MVA which we have replaced. We also have some two other big transformers we are trying to replace. The challenge is the amount of vandalism going on. People just go and cut the cables beside the transformers. Recently, we have a number of suspects in police station and we press for prosecution to serve as deterrence and pass the message that it is not business as usual. We want to deter robberies that occur when places are dark.”
To select an area for attention, he said the company has offices throughout the areas and they have marketers on the street everyday. “We have engagements with the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN).
“We are also a corporate member of the MAN, we have meetings with hoteliers association, the bakers associations, etc. We are trying to understand their peculiar needs and design ways of serving them better. This is what informs our building new lines,” he said.
According to Achife, one of the greatest problems PHED is facing has been the issue of RoW or the Utility Corridor. “I have worked round the country but whereas it is so easy to get corridors to put services in all other parts of Nigeria, it is tough in the South-South.
“I am sure that even business journalists have found that people do not care about dangers along high-tension lines such as 132 KVA lines. We have photos of virgin places before we run our lines but houses and businesses spring up the next day. It becomes difficult when we want to expand the lines,” he said.

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.