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Rainstorm: Blackout Still In Parts Of PH

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Electricity is yet to be restored in all the areas affected by last weeks’ rainstorm  even as the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) has commenced work to replace most of the damaged property.
The Tide gathered that about 311 electricity poles and feeder pillars belonging to the distribution firm were destroyed last week Monday’s  rainstorm in some parts of Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas.
The areas affected include; Elioparanwo, Rumuokoro, Rumuola, Rumuadolu, Rumuokuta, Orazi , Rumuomoi,Wokoma, Bori Camp and some parts of the Government Reserved Area and these areas are still in darkness.
Residents  who spoke with The Tide said they were yet to  see the PHED officials coming to work on the destroyed equipment.
Investigation by our correspondent revealed that damaged poles  with other associated materials such as 150mm aluminum conductors spanning over 32,000 meters were among other equipment destroyed by the storm.
When contacted the Manager, Corporate Communications, PHED, John Onyi said technicians of the firm had commenced work in some of the areas which were affected.
Onyi said the firm is not relaxing on its earlier promise to ensure that  electricity is restored in those areas.
He said that the firm has taken stock of the damaged items and its technicians had gone to the field to ensure that power was restored in all the affected areas.
He also reminded the public of the dangers of trading or erecting structures under high tension lines, urging them to always obey safety rules, especially during this raining season and also keep away from the power line right of way.
Meanwhile,  PHED may commence disconnection of power to debtors to enable it replace some of the effected property of the distribution firm.
Last week, the firm appointed debt recovery professional to help recover some of her debt.
The move is to help recover some losses the firm suffered due to the destruction of most of her property within last week.
It would be recalled that the firm lost about 311 poles and other equipment in last week’s  rainstorm.
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RSG Lauds Refining Firm’s Friendly Policies

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The Rivers State government has commended Niger Delta Refineries Limited, an indigenous petroleum refining company, based in the state, for its friendly policies on environment and community relations.
The State Deputy Governor, Dr Ipalibo Banigo, made the commendation, when she led members of the House of Assembly Committee on Environment and officials of the State Ministry of Environment on a facility visit  to the company.
She said the state government, was aware of the company’s positive impact within and outside its area of operation, appreciated its impact on environment and in community relations.
According to her, the state government is interested in modular refineries in order to discourage illegal refineries as well as safeguard the lives of the people of Rivers.
“We want to discourage illegal refineries to save lives and ensure a safe environment.
“ We are also interested in knowledge transfer and job creation for our teeming youths,” she said.
Earlier, the company’s General Manager (Refineries/Projects), Mr Femi Olaniyan, who conducted Banigo’s team around the facility, said the company established about 25 years ago was operating on Ogbele Field Oil Mining Lease (OML) 54 in Rivers.
He said the company’s vision was to be completely indigenous, adding that it was 95 per cent owned by Nigerians.
According to Olaniyan, the refinery is managed by Nigerians with proven expertise and track record.
“As early as 2006, our company decided to eliminate gas flaring and a gas processing plant was built and commissioned.
“Now, we are the only indigenous company to supply gas to the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility in Bonny Island here in Rivers state.
“We have so far supplied over 50 billion tons of gas to LNG in Bonny. In 2011, we built 1,000 barrels per day production facility.
“We now produce three trucks of diesel per day from our plant here.
“We also produce diesel in commercial quantity with customers drawn from the North East, North West, Abuja, Lagos and so on,” he said.
He also told the team that in 2016, the company commenced the expansion of its refinery to an integrated facility to produce up to 11,000 barrels of jet fuel, diesel, marine diesel and heavy fuel oil per day, adding that the expanded facility would commence full operations by May 2020.
Olaniyan further said that the company, which also produced gas for domestic consumption, “has since Jan. 26, 2019 clocked one million man hours with zero lost time injuries.”
“Our facility, a subsidiary of Niger Delta Exploration & Production Plc, is privately owned and can convert Naphtha to petrol with 60 per cent of its labour force from the community and has no negative safety issues.
“A considerable number of Nigerians have gained from our deliberate efforts to ensure knowledge transfer,’’ Olaniyan said.

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Power Supply: AfDB Set To Invest $200m In Nigeria

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) is to invest 200 million dollars through the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) to boost power supply in Nigeria.
The Acting Vice President, Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth Complex (AFDB) Mr Wale Shonibare, said this when  he led some management staff of the bank on a visit to  the Minister of State for Power, Mr Goddy Jedy-Agba in Abuja on Monday.
Shonibare, also the Director, Energy and Installation in the bank, said that the AfDB board had approved 200 million dollars for the sector through REA to support the roll out of mini grids.
“The AFDB is very active in the power sector of Nigeria and we are ready to do more, the board has approved 200 million dollars to the sector through the REA.
“We are supporting the programme to roll out mini grids across the country and also to encourage productive use of the grids to upgrade communities
“We are also involved in energising education, a programme under which we are dedicating power systems to eight federal universities,’’ he said.
Shonobare said that the bank was also very involved in the transmission sector of the country as it had a 410 million dollars project to support transmission.
According to him, 200 million dollars has already been approved by AfDB board for phase one to improve transmission lines and provision of sub-stations.
“I understand that the agreement was signed last week and we expect the project to progress.
“We are involved in the Jigawa power project, we have approved a grant of one million dollars to support the feasibility study for phase one and the studies are almost completed.
“We are aware of the issues in the sector and we are working with all the players in the sector, the regulators, NBET all along the value chain looking at how we can make the sector efficient,’’ he said.
Responding, the Minister of State, Jedy-Agba said that the federal government was willing to do more in partnership with AfDB to provide electricity for Nigerians.
Jedy-Agba said that power was the bedrock of development, adding that if the country could get it right with technology, they could also do same with power.
He said that Nigeria was in the process of increasing its power generation capacity and the sector as it was keying into funds available by the AfDB to enhance further growth in the sector.
“AfDB had been investing in the sector and they planned to invest more by increasing their funding in development of the power sector,’’ he said.
He assured the AfDB team that any money given to the power sector would be judiciously utilised and accounted for.

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PHED Links Power Outage To TCN’s Technical Fault

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The Port Harcourt , Electricity Distribution Company, PHED, has disclosed that the power outage being experienced by the residents of Elelenwo,  Old Oyigbo,  Rivers State Television station and its environs,  Onne,  Bori  since Friday, March 6, 2020 was due to a faulty auxiliary transformer belonging to  Transmission Company of Nigeria,  TCN.
The power distribution company, in a press  statement however, stated that  the technical crew from the TCN had already been  mobilised to the station to ensure that the fault was rectified as soon as possible.
The statement added that power  supply will be restored at the affected areas as soon as the fixing of the technical fault was completed.
The statement, solicited  for the patience of its esteemed customers that were affected by the forced outage, while waiting for the restoration.
The company also restated its commitment to quality service delivery to its members.
Meanwhile, some residents of the affected areas have lamented the effects of the outage on their businesses.
A cross section of the residents who spoke with our correspondent, called on PHED and other relevant authorities to fix the  problem and restore power supply in the area.
The residents also called on PHED to live up to its new policies on enhanced service delivery to enhance its business profile and earn the confidence of its teeming customers.
One resident, Comrade Michael Budum, who spoke with The Tide, said power supply had been one of the major challenges in the area.
He said , “I want to use this opportunity to urge PHED to improve on its services to earn the confidence of its  customers, let people get results form their power bills through power delivery services”.

 

By: Taneh Beemene

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