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Amid pervasive darkness, 26,976MW of electricity stranded, unutilised

By Sulaimon Salau
16 January 2022   |   3:17 am
Notwithstanding the blackouts witnessed in many parts of Nigeria last year, a total of about 26,976 Mega Watts (MW) of electricity was stranded and unutilised...

Notwithstanding the blackouts witnessed in many parts of Nigeria last year, a total of about 26,976 Mega Watts (MW) of electricity was stranded and unutilised.

Egbin Power Plc<br />

  
Facts sheet from the electricity generation companies revealed that while the average available power generation capacity for the 12-month period in 2021 was 6,336.52MW, the actual average generation put on the national grid for utilisation during the period was 4,118.98MW.
   
This came as the Federal Government allocated N40 billion in the 2022 budget to settle the electricity debts of its ministries, departments and agencies.
   
The 2021 generation capacity loss data showed that the country’s power sector recorded stranded electricity in all the 12 months of 2021.
   
The figures for stranded electricity showed that about 1,915.13MW was lost in January, 1,634.87MW in February, 1,799.18MW in March and 1,921.5MW in April 2021. In May 1,944.59MW was stranded, while 2,396.7MW, 2,421.38MW and 2,909.55MW were recorded in, June, July and August 2021 respectively.
   
For September, October, November and December, the quantum of stranded power in each of these months stood at 3,291.15MW, 2,570.58MW, 1,996.44MW and 2,180.95MW respectively. All these totalled 26,976MW during the year.
   
Power generation companies have often complained about the poor utilisation of what they are capable of delivering on the grid.
   
The Executive Secretary, Association of Power Generation Companies, Joy Ogaji, had recently argued that GenCos were not dispatching at full capacity due to the poor utilisation of what they produce.
 
 
She said: “There may be many reasons for the ‘seemingly perceived poor or lack of generation. I want to state for the records that no single generation company is allowed, by the system, to send out its available capacity. I stand to be corrected with facts, not political claims. I repeat! All Gencos are sub-optimally dispatched, with many units idle.”
   
She argued that capacity utilisation in any market was often used as a measure of productive efficiency and stressed that the average production costs tend to fall as output rises.
  
“So higher utilisation can reduce unit costs, bringing about a more competitive market, which makes plants financially viable,” Ogaji stated.