Electricity Pole. PHOTO:csiro.au
Sector loses N1.385b to gas constraints
Electricity generation dropped to 3,233 megawatts (MW) on Monday, down from 4,500MW recorded last week due to gas constraints, while the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI), said the sector lost 2,885MW estimated at N1.385 million on January 14, due to gas constraints.
Output drop is a frequent occurrence in the nation’s power sector, a development that has turned almost every Nigerian to a power operator of some sort. Practically every home or corporate organisation depends on generators for their electricity and energy needs, thus leaving the grid output to an alternative rather than a major supplier.
Daily operational report from the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), the system operator, said that Jebba 2G5 was shut down due to water management at 18.02 hours on January 15.
It added that Okpai GT11 has been out due to flame monitor problem while Omoku GT3 was shut down due to gas constrains.
TCN added that Okpai ST18 has been out due to hydraulic valve problem.
The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), said a total of 528 million metric standard cubic feet/day (mmscfd) gas was delivered to the thermal power plants in November 2016, to generate an average power of about 2,344 MW compared with December 2015 to November 2016 average gas supply of 538 mmscfd and power generation of 2,409 MW.
NESI insisted that improving Nigeria’s electricity generation is key factor to resolving the power shortage, noting that the ongoing refurbishment of existing generation plants and construction of new gas-fired power plants would help.
“However, building more generation capacity alone is not enough; it needs to be supported upstream with improved gas availability and downstream with additional transmission capacity,” it added.
Reacting to the issue of power supply challenges, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the new projects when completed would address the issue of unstable electricity supply.
The minister said 2016 remained a peak year with electricity generation of 4,010MW, despite 3,000 MW lost to gas pipe vandalism in the Niger Delta areas.
He expressed regrets that notwithstanding a paltry budget of N5 billion in 2016, the ministry spent so much on offsetting outstanding debts to contractors, meaning that ongoing work on 100 transmission projects was halted.
Fashola listed the ongoing projects to include the 215 mw Kaduna Power; 40mw Kashimbila Power (hydro); 40mw Gurara 1 Power (hydro); 29 mw Dadin Kowa Power (hydro); 10 mw Katsina Power (wind), 1,125 mw (14 solar plants); and the 240mw emergency power project for Afam (gas).