Power sector loses over N46b as electricity supply deteriorates
With average energy enjoyed by electricity consumers dropping to 4,002 megawatts last month, the nation’s power sector lost a total of N46.01 billion revenue due to constraints which included shortage of gas; grid unreliability and distribution limitations.
Indeed, gas supply needed to boost generation dropped to 19,442 million standard cubic feet (mmscf) in April, as against 22,505mmscf recorded in March, as the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) said that four power generation companies (Gencos) have been unable to generate electricity to the national grid for several days, due to gas supply challenges.
Data from the Office of Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, indicated that last month, the average volume of electricity generated and distributed daily to Nigerian homes and offices was 4,002 megawatts (MW) per day, while an average of 3,196 MW was constrained from getting to consumers by gas limitations.
According to the data, Nigeria’s power sector attained a peak generation of about 5,348MW during the period.The TCN had said in a statement from its General Manager, Public Affairs, Mrs. Ndidi Mbah, that the national grid was experiencing reduced power generation due mainly to emergency maintenance by the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) of its gas pipeline supplying gas to Egbin, Omotosho, Olorunsogo and Paras Power Stations.
According to the TCN statement, the maintenance was caused by leakage discovered on the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System gas pipeline, necessitating the total shutdown of the four power generating plants on 25th April, 2019.On the same day, records from the Office of the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, stated that average energy sent out was 3,930 megawatts (MW) while 1,988.21MW was not generated due to unavailability of gas.
It also said the power sector lost an estimated N1.407 billion due to insufficient gas supply, distribution and transmission infrastructure. Mbah said in the TCN statement that prior to the incident, Omotosho NIPP and Olorunsogo NIPP had already been out due to gas supply issues.She said that NGC worked hard to repair the gas pipeline so that normal gas supply can be restored to the affected power plants.
“At present, repairs have been completed and the pipeline is currently being pressurised prior to resumption of gas supply to the affected power stations,” she said. Mbah, further noted that the TCN had diverted about 312MW load from the Benin-Egbin 330kV transmission line, which tripped at 23.14hours on Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019, to Omotosho –Ikeja West and Ayede-Ikeja 330kV transmission lines, due to on-going repair works on the Benin-Egbin 330kV transmission line.
“The tripping was caused by a line cut between Ofofu and Okada, however, TCN engineers are making concerted efforts to complete repair work on the transmission line, despite the very difficult terrain at that location. “Due to the diversion of the load from this line to the two transmission lines equally feeding Lagos axis, load shedding in Lagos axis was minimised to about 280MW at the first instance. However, with the attendant gas supply issues and sudden gas leakage problem, load shedding increased considerably,” she added.
As at yesterday, Egbin generated 408.62MW as against its installed capacity of 1320MW, Kainji; 302.01, Azura-Edo IPP; 293.78MW, while ASCO and AES did not generate anything during the period.