The Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) has disbursed a total of N152.974 billion to 23 power generation companies (Gencos) within the first seven months of 2017. This disbursement represented 21.6 per cent of the N701 billion payment support facility provided by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for Nigeria’s power sector
A document obtained by our correspondent at the weekend, which revealed this also contained other payments made by the NBET to the Gencos from what it collected from market within the seven-month period, amounting to N83.351 billion.
The document further showed that aggregate payments from the CBN facility and market collections to the Gencos within the period totalled N236.353 billion. It also represented about 80 per cent of the generating company’s invoices within the payment cycle and in line with the NBET’s strategy of paying the Gencos’ monthly invoices in this regards.
A further breakdown of the payment details disclosed that while all the traditional Gencos in the country – Kainji, Jebba, and Shiroro hydro plants, as well as Egbin, Transcorp Ughelli, Olorunsogo, and Shell Afam VI, amongst others, consistently got paid within the period, up to eight out of the 10 power plants built under the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs) and managed by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Ltd (NDPHC) equally got paid their invoices, to buttress a recent claim by the Managing Director of the NDPHC, Mr. Chiedu Ugbo, that the N701 billion had saved the power sector from near collapse.
The document stated that in January, the NBET paid the Gencos N17.798 billion from the CBN facility and N10.261 billion from the market collection to bring its total payment for the month to N28.063 billion; in February, it paid N19.419 billion of CBN facility and N12.694 billion of market remittance to the Gencos to make it N32.113 billion for the month; and subsequently remitted in the March payment cycle to the Gencos a total of N35.504 billion containing N22.716 billion from the CBN facility and N12.787 billion from the market.
In April, N33.136 billion was paid to the Gencos, out of which N20.414 billion and N12.723 billion were from the CBN facility and market collections respectively; payments for May, were N22.819 billion (CBN facility) and N12.768 billion (market collections), totalling, N35.587billion, while that of June was N35.717 billion (that is, N24.424 billion (CBN facility) and N11.293 billion (market collections). For July, the NBET paid the Gencos a total of N36.209 billion, containing N25.383 billion, from the CBN facility and N10.825 billion, collected from the market.
In March 2017, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved that the CBN guarantees payments by the NBET to Gencos for electricity they generate through the N701 billion facility. The NBET would also have about 10 years to liquidate the loan to the CBN.
A government memo, which we exclusively obtained in June 2017, stated that the NBET would administer the loan, which has a two-year moratorium and five per cent annual interest rate, over a period of two years.
Meanwhile, it was also learnt that NBET has again extended the execution window for the power purchase agreements (PPAs) it signed for Nigeria’s 14 pioneer utility scale solar plants by another six months to enable promoters of the projects meet up with the condition precedents in their PPAs.
The PPAs were first signed in July, 2016 between the promoters and Nigeria’s federal government, their tenure were however renewed in July 2017 after they expired and made to last for six months which again expired in January 2018.
Sources in the NBET informed that another six months extension was given on the PPAs, which were reportedly distributed between the African Development Bank (AfDB) and World Bank by the government. Both development finance institutions have reportedly been working on closing them out to enable promoters achieve financial close for the projects.
Collectively, the 14 solar power projects would when completed, generate 1,125 megawatts (MW) of solar electricity to augment Nigeria’s electricity generation capacity. They will cost the promoters about $2.5 billion.
NBET in 2017 also announced that the promoters of the solar IPPs had posted their development securities of $20,000 per megawatt to it via letters of credit. The securities, it explained then, were to guarantee that the IPPs would achieve financial closure by their target closing dates.