Pipeline vandalism reduces power output by 1600MW

Gas pipeline13 August 2013, Abuja – About 1,600 Mega Watts, MWs, of electricity have been lost to gas pipeline vandalism, the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, has said.

Nebo, who addressed reporters in Abuja, with Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam, at the end of the joint meeting of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company, NDPHC, and the National Council on Privatisation, NCP, adduced political motives as some of the reasons behind gas pipelines’ vandalism.

Out of the 1,600 MWs drop in power, he said, about 460 MWs reduction was caused by low level of water in Kainji, Shiroro and Jebba dams.

He said: “It is important to note that with regards to the busting of gas pipelines and vandalism of the pipelines that bring gas, there isn’t any significant commercial value behind the action. It is sheer madness, or may be essentially politically motivated, just to cause damage to the entire country and to Nigerians.

“What these young men steal from the transformers are copper. When you put the total sum of the most recent one that they vandalised, all the copper they collected that they will sell as scrap is not worth up to N10,000, but in the interim, they have knocked off one million people from power supply, and also of course it caused  the DISCO N27 million to fix the damage.”

Nebo appealed to Nigerians to lend their support and help protect the equipment from these vandals.

“I think it is instructive for the entire populace to know what has been happening recently. A couple of months ago, the western axis of the gas pipeline leading to the power plants in the west were cannibalised, resulting in very severe damages that caused a sharp drop in power supply. That has since been addressed and the damages are been repaired,” he said.

Nebo explained that a couple of weeks ago, the Akoloma Plant in the Eastern axis was also vandalised, saying the damages were quite extensive. However, he said a team of experts went to work and restored it, adding that this led to the restoration of power to the Afam plant eventually.

The minister lamented that when people were rejoicing in some parts of the country where power supply was stabilising, another sabotage was discovered a few days ago at Akoloma, which he confirmed was receiving attention.

He assured that in the next six weeks, the western axis would be fixed, and that a portion of the 1,600MW already lost, would be recovered.

“We are appealing for understanding that the load shedding we are encountering needs the support of everybody in educating these vandals to stop sabotaging government’s efforts…”

– Augustine Ehikioya, The Nation

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