An engineering firm, Pivot Engineering Company Limited, has handed over to the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, the completed project on the conversion of low voltage distribution system to high voltage distribution system on Karu feeder 3.

Speaking at the event, the Managing Director of Pivot, Mr. Dave Obray said that the project, which was a pilot initiative of the Project Management Unit of the World Bank, would ensure more reliable power supply to consumers and residents in the area.

According to him, the project will also reduce low voltage and improve electrical protection.

For the PHCN, the project will reduce the losses recorded by the company and enhance its revenue, he added.

Obray added that the company was also responsible for a similar project in Ogba Lagos, which upgrades the reticulation levels from 415V to 11KV.

He also stated that the cost of the Karu project was about N180m, saying that the quality of delivery was very high.

In his speech, the General Manager, Project Management Unit, Mr. Mosiru Ganiyu explained that the conversion of low voltage distribution system to high voltage distribution system was a World Bank initiative which was introduced as a pilot scheme known as Commercial Reorientation of Electricity Sector Tools Kits.

According to him, the project schemes are ongoing in Karu, Mararaba and Nyanya parts of Abuja as well as in Ogba, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba and Agege parts of Lagos.

He said the project will address distribution efficiency enhancement through reduction in technical and commercial losses, maintenance cost and energy theft as well as improvements in voltage profile and the revenue base of the organisation.

Ganiyu commended Pivot Engineering for successfully completing the contract in accordance with specifications and standards enshrined in the contract document.

He also pleaded with the company's customers in the area to pay their electricity bills promptly so as to reciprocate and compliment government's efforts and huge investments expended on the project.

In an interview with our correspondent, the Assistant General Manager, Technical Services, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, Mr. Hope Torru explained that the rate of electricity customer growth in Abuja was about 12 per cent per annum and the utility company was continuously planning to accommodate the growth rate.

He explained that the company was working to upgrade its distribution the facilities to ensure that it meets the demand, while ensuring that it does not exceed the amount of energy that allocated to the company otherwise the system will collapse.

According to him, 'We are trying to upgrade the injection substation capacity, for example the World Bank 2X 60MWA which is almost completed in Karu.

We completed 136 MVA in Keffi and we are trying to link Karu from that axis.

'Around the stadium, we have a 132/3 KV coming up there that will pick up some existing in the city and Airport Road.

'In Kubwa, we have another one.
In the implementation of this year's budget, we will be able to draw the lines that will be able to evacuate the power from these places.

'We are going to replicate this project in other cluster areas, especially in areas where we have problems of quality of supply, energy theft and technical losses.'

On why customers are unable to get prepaid meters, Torru said the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company had a programme on pre paid meters but it got stuck at some point.

He said, 'We were supposed to change all existing meters to pre paid meters.

It is capital intensive.
'What we were doing initially was to take customers old meters and give them a new one without them paying anything except when they do not have a meter before.

When we give them, they will start paying in installments to clean out the debts.

'That project will soon start all over again once we get funds for it.

But once the funds are not there, we cannot purchase meters with other people's money and give it out free of charge.'