It is an incontrovertible fact that without energy, not much can be achieved in virtually all aspects of human endeavour. Without electricity, factories, industries (large or small), telecommunication, entertainment activities would not be able to function. Where they function at all, they do so at half capacity resulting in staff lay-offs, shut down and lack of growth in the industrial/commercial sector of the economy. In an economy in which grid power supply is inadequate, people and businesses face a lot of challenges.
Efforts made by the past administration to boost power supply in the State are in the following areas:
injection of over 750 transformers into the PHCN’s electricity power supply network in Delta State and the construction of distribution lines (overhead (OH) high tension (HT) and low tension (LT) networks) necessary for the extension of power supply to communities without electricity as well as reinforcement/upgrading of the existing PHCN installations;
upgrading and voltage system changeover from 6.6kv to 11kv in Sapele and environs;
construction of Delta State 132KV grid transmission line from Ekakpamre through Afiesere to Ozoro (on-going);
extension of electricity to the riverine areas and connecting to the national grid, seven (7) Local Government Areas of the State which hitherto were not connected(on-going);
installation of stand-alone solar powered streetlights in Asaba, Warri and Oghara;
construction of 132kv grid transmission line at Oghara;
purchase and installation of standby generators for power supply to riverine communities;
establishment of Delta State Energy Development and Research Centre (EDRC); and
participation of Delta State Government in Project GAIA- this project seeks to introduce the use of methanol as house hold fuel using a specially designed ‘Origo’ which burns without smoke and therefore environment friendly.
Electricity drives the modern economy and it is the measure of socio-economic and industrial development. Delta State has 4,098,391 people according to the 2006 population estimates. The State has a power demand of 1000 MW out of which about 100MW is available to it for use from PHCN and considering that about 30% of the State is off grid, the total power demand may be as high as 1,500MW. These demand/estimates are based on available indices as well as industrial demand growth forecast.
On the inception of the present administration, the provision of stable power to communities which were not hitherto connected was one of the major challenges it faced.
Furthermore, 10Nos. 7.5MVA, 33/11KV injection transformer substations located at Agbor, Abraka, Okpara Inland, Ekete, Issele-Uku, Kwale, Ibusa, and Owhelogbo have been completed and commissioned. Before now, the Oghara twin 7.5MVA, 33/11KV injection transformer substations have been completed and commissioned for use.
Also, the State has assisted PHCN with the donation of 53Nos. 300kva, 333/1kv transformer substations with accompanying overhead/ low tension lines have been completed and commissioned.
In summary, the present administration has since its inception tried to tackle the poor power infrastructure, apart from the completion of inherited projects embarked in the construction of over 70km of 33/11KV overhead (OH) high tension (HT) lines, construction of over 2,222 spans or 100km of township distribution network (TDN) and installation of 106 (No) distribution as well as injection transformers of various capacities.
The main focus of the State Government in the area of provision of electricity power supply is to enhance socio-economic and industrial development and improve the standard of living of Deltans. With particular reference to rural electrification policy, the underlying objective is to arrest rural-urban migration by economic empowerment of the rural inhabitants, particularly the youths to stem youth restiveness, improve social life with increased access to information, and activation of economic activities.
To address the power supply challenges, the State under the Ibori Administration came up with the Independent Power Project (IPP). The initial feasibility studies were carried out through an Independent Power Plant Committee. The present administration has embarked on the acquisition and installation of 2(NO) Rolls Royce-Trent 60 (RRT60) Gas Turbines with installed capacity of 120MW that will generate 100MW electricity in Delta State. The project is to be located at Oghara which site is close to gas supply and power transmission lines has been acquired.
In the area of Power Supply Infrastructure, the State Government has within the period of the present administration undertaking the following project :
In addition to Government’s efforts highlighted above, the State Government has also contributed its own quota of N15.9b to the Federal Government’s power emergency programme aimed at achieving the objective of facilitating and promoting energy requirements for improved socio-economic activities of our people.
It may be instructive to remark here that some of the projects highlighted above are off-shoots of similar projects designed and implemented by the previous administration. On the whole, most of the projects implemented by the current administration, though radically different in scope and modus operandi, have their roots in the firm resolve of Government to implement its policy objectives in the Energy Sector to the fullest, bearing in mind the importance of policy continuity to national security and democratic stability.