Power supply remains poor amid concern of higher tariffs

PHCN worker24 July 2013, Lagos – Electricity supply across the country is yet to improve even as consumers are paying higher tariffs with fresh concern of further increase in line with the Multi-Year Tariff Order, MYTO.

This is coming as Marubeni Power International of Japan will soon complete the contract for the resuscitation of the Unit 6 of the 1,320megawatt-capacity Egbin Power Station in Lagos, to ensure that the station realises its full generation capacity.

Due to several system collapses, which damaged some transmission facilities, average supply in the past couple of weeks has not exceeded 3,437megawatts, even when the country had previously celebrated peak supply of 4,377megawatts.

This deteriorating electricity, it was learnt, is coming in the wake of recent increase in tariffs, with fixed charges going up from N500 to N700 or N800, depending on the location.

Apart from the recent increase in fixed charges, there is also plan to increase the energy cost or cost per kilowatt hour of electricity in line with MYTO, which requires that electricity charges will go up yearly from 2012 to 2016 until cost-reflective tariff is attained.

Meanwhile, the supply situation has remained poor in most places as there had been no significant improvement in generation.

It was gathered that generation, which averaged 3,000megwatts since 2007 had continued to hover around this figure, while there had been astronomical increase in the number of consumers.

Investigation revealed that some areas that enjoyed 12-hourly supply were now being provided with eight hours of supply.

A source at the National Control Centre, NCC, at Osogbo in Osun State said with the dwindling supply, priority areas were always considered in allocating supply.

“There has been high demand and poor supply in recent weeks. So, we have to feed our priority areas before allocating to other areas. That accounts for the fluctuation being witnessed in some areas,” he said.

In a related development, Marubeni Power International of Japan is set to complete the repairs of the 220megawatt-capacity Unit 6 of the Egbin Power Station, which was awarded to it on December 19, 2013.

A source at the power plant said the Japanese firm was in the process of completing the job, which was initially scheduled to last for 90 days.

Before the contract was awarded, Units 1,2,3,4 and 5 were generating 994megawatts to the national grid, while the Unit 6’s Generator Rotor was being awaited.

Marubeni Engineering West Africa Limited had earlier completed the contract for the replacement of Unit 6’s automative voltage regulator (AVR) Thyristor panel, which completion date was initially scheduled for June 2011.

– Ejiofor Alike, This Day

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