World Bank grants PHEDC $.250m for power distribution

By Energy Worth

The World Bank says it has made available a grant of $250,000 to support the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC), in her ongoing energy efficiency programme.

This was disclosed by the leader of the World Bank delegation to PHEDC, Mr. Jinping Zhao, during a visit to the Disco’s corporate headquarters in Moscow Road, Port Harcourt, to assess the progress of the pilot programme of the free energy bulb distribution, Zhao also stated that the Federal Government had requested a credit facility of $500,000 to help in enhancing the network of power distribution companies, with a view to improving the power sector in the country.

The World Bank Representative further explained that before the credit facility could be given to any Disco in Nigeria, the World Bank would ascertain the status and requirements of such distribution company, and ensure that all requirements are met.

He said the World Bank would also partner the Disco in the area of technical support, by procuring, distributing and installing of energy bulbs in order to ensure improvement in its sustainability, and charged the management of PHED to train and re-train her personnel so as to encourage professionalism and better service delivery in the sector.

According to him, “On the first technical support, we are happy to inform you that the World Bank has given a small grant of $250,000 to support PHEDC in procuring and distributing of energy saving bulbs.

“Currently, the Federal Government of Nigeria has requested the World Bank to support Distribution Companies in the country with a facility of about $500,000 credit, but we are going to look at the status and requirements of each Disco,” Zhao said.

Earlier, the Acting Chief Executive Officer, PHED, Mr. Syed Taha, said the company was committed to ensuring sustainable power distribution system in its area of operation and appealed to the World Bank to support the company in carrying out its statutory responsibility to the customers.

Taha explained that the company had already commenced a community-based energy management program designed to assist communities in paying lower amount for their consumption, through the giving out of energy saving bulbs free of charge, adding that two communities in Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom, have already benefited from the bulb exchange programe.

He added that with the World Bank’s financial support, other communities in the Niger Delta would benefit from the energy efficiency programme of company.

“We believe energy efficiency is the way to go in other to reduce our losses and especially that of our customers, we have already started the pilot programme on how energy efficiency can benefit our customers and Nigeria as a whole,”Taha said.