Gas supply shortage worsens as generation rises to 4,202.7MW
But for gas supply challenges, which constrained over 3,321 Mega Watts (MW) of electricity, the nation’s total electricity generation would have hit 7,529MW in the last one month.
Although, the country is presently generating 4,202.7MW, which was made possible by the contribution of hydro power plants, this is less than the installed capacity of 11,165.40MW of electricity in the country.
The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) illustrated in its daily generation report, stated that the national peak demand remained 17,520MW, adding the country only has capability to transmit 7,000MW.
The latest report from Nigeria Electricity and Regulatory Commission (NERC), showed that gas supply challenges due to pipeline vandalism has made it impossible for the country to enjoy a regular supply.
Between September 26 and October 2nd, output had dropped significantly due to gas constraints. The country lost 2.843MW on September 26; 2,798MW the following day; 2,763MW; 2,903MW; 2,759MW and 2,418MW on 28th, 29th, 30th, October 1st, and 2nd respectively.
Already, two of the nation’s power plants were shut down on Sunday, bringing the total number of idle plants to nine.The affected plants were II in Ogun State and Trans-Amadi in Rivers State, with installed generation capacity put at 625 megawatts and 25MW, respectively.
Olorunsogo II, which was built under the National Integrated Power Project scheme, did not generate any megawatt of electricity because its units GT1, 2, 3 and 4 and ST2 were out due to gas shortages, and the ST1 out on maintenance.
Other plants that did not produce electricity on Sunday were Alaoji II with an installed capacity of 250MW; Ihovbor II, 337.5MW; Afam VI, 650MW; Rivers, 160MW; Afam IV & V, AES and ASCO, whose capacities were put at zero.
According to NESI in its daily summary of power generation, as at October 8, average power sent out was 3335MWh/hour (down by 164 MWh/h). The reported gas constraint was 3269MW.
The reported line constraint was 371.7MW with a high-frequency constraint of 479.4MW according to TCN Gas supply challenges have been traced to the renewed attacks on gas pipelines by Niger Delta militants and President Mohammadu Buhari has vowed to tackle the menace.
According to the President in his Independence speech, there is no sense in damaging a gas line as a result of which many towns in the country including their own town or village is thrown into darkness.
He noted that there is also no logic in blowing up an export pipeline and attendant income to state and local governments and consequently limiting their ability to provide services to people is reduced.
Buhari stated: “Power generation has steadily risen since our administration came on board from 3,325MW in June 2015, rising to a peak of 5,074MW in February 2016. 32.
“For the first time in our history the country was producing 5,000MW. However, renewed militancy and destruction of gas pipelines caused acute shortage of gas and constant drop in electricity output available on the grid.
“There has been during the period June 2015 to September 2016 big improvement in transmission capacity from 5,500MW to the present 7,300MW”. Bujari said that there were only two system collapses between June and December 2015, but due to vandalism by Niger Delta militants the over-all system suffered 16 collapses between March and July 2016 alone.
He disclosed that the government is engaging with responsible leadership in the region to find lasting solutions to genuine grievances of the area, adding “but we will not allow a tiny minority of thugs to cripple the country’s economy.”
He stated: “In the meantime, government is going ahead with projects utilising alternate technologies such as hydro, wind, and solar to contribute to our energy mix. In this respect, the Mambilla Hydro project, after many years of delay is taking off this year.
“Contract negotiations are nearing completion with Chinese firms for technical and financial commitments.“The project is to be jointly financed by Nigeria and the Chinese-Export-Import Bank. In addition, 14 Solar Power Projects have had their power purchase agreements concluded. Hence the plan to produce 1,200MW of solar electricity for the country would be realised on schedule.
“And in line with the objective of government to complete all abandoned projects across the country, the Rural Electrification Agency’s projects needing completion are provided for in the 2016 Budget. Bringing electricity to rural areas will help farmers, small scale and cottage industries to integrate with the national economy”.
Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, said the use of pre-paid metres will ensure fair billing system and enhance regular power supply.
According to him, it would also eradicate the use of unmeasured electricity by the customers.He added that it would curb losses to the power firms, occasioned by their inability to collect due rate