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Militants’ attacks pull Nigeria’s power generation down to 2028MW

By Sulaimon Salau
27 May 2016   |   1:36 am
The nation’s power generation has plunged below a half of this year’s peak after attacks on natural gas pipelines cut supplies to electricity generating plants.
Mission Director, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Micheal T. Harvey (left); Chairman, Eko Electricity Distribution Company Plc, Charles Momoh; Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Benin Electricity Distribution Company Plc, Mrs Funke Osibodu; U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, James F. Entwistle; and Special Adviser to the Minister of Power, Lanre Akinsola, at the signing ceremony on improved electricity supply between representatives of USAID Mission in Nigeria and the nation’s power distribution companies, in Abuja.

Mission Director, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Micheal T. Harvey (left); Chairman, Eko Electricity Distribution Company Plc, Charles Momoh; Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Benin Electricity Distribution Company Plc, Mrs Funke Osibodu; U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, James F. Entwistle; and Special Adviser to the Minister of Power, Lanre Akinsola, at the signing ceremony on improved electricity supply between representatives of USAID Mission in Nigeria and the nation’s power distribution companies, in Abuja.

The nation’s power generation has plunged below a half of this year’s peak after attacks on natural gas pipelines cut supplies to electricity generating plants.

The national grid dropped to 2028 Mega Watts (MW) yesterday from 2695MW on Wednesday due to irregular gas supplies to the thermal plants.

Already, the power generation firms (GenCos) and the distribution companies (DisCos) are worried about the fresh challenges that have significantly hindered regular power supply in the country.

The Chief Executive Office, Egbin Power Plc, Dallas Peavey Jr said: “For all the plants, there’s no gas… We’re sitting idle here.”

He, however, revealed that Egbin is now generating less than 10 per cent of its 1,320MW capacity due to ruptured supply line.

After peaking at 5,074 megawatts in February, power generation appeared to have been crippled by a resurgence of attacks on oil and gas pipelines in the Niger Delta.

Irked about the incessant attacks of gas pipeline, Peavey said plans to boost Egbin’s capacity by between 1,575MW and 1,900MW are now on hold, adding that the company is considering building a liquefied natural gas terminal to solve its gas supply woes.

The gas outages have “brought to a halt, at least temporarily, our plans to double the capacity of the plant. We can’t double the capacity if we can’t find the fuel,” he said.

The new militant group called Niger Delta Avengers have within three weeks crippled oil and gas supplies from major facilities belonging the Shell, Chevron, Agip and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), signalling a fresh hurdle for the petroleum and power sectors.

Meanwhile, the President, African Development Bank (AfDB) Akinwumi Adesina has urged African nations to deploy other sources of generating energy if Africa is to achieve 10 Giga Watts of electricity by 2020.

Adesina, who spoke at the AfDB meeting on Energy and Climate Change, said this will enable African nations to move faster in unlocking all the potential energy mixes, which lies untapped across the continent.

According to him, Africa is currently sitting on at least 11Tera Watts of unused solar energy, 350GW of hydro and 150GW of wind power, all of that which still needs be unlocked.

He said proper planning of Africa’s power development was urgently required and attention must be paid to three key needs for power including light, base load for industries as well as clean cooking.