17 February 2014, Abuja – Despite the repair of vandalised pipelines, especially along the Escravos-Western axis and return of gas supply to electricity Generation companies (Gencos), the total power generation available for domestic consumption is still below 4,000 megawatts (mw), reports disclosed.
Statistics from the electricity National Control Centre (NCC) in Osogbo, Osun State, made available at the weekend revealed the total maximum capacity of the nation’s grid stood at 4,151mw with the minimum capacity evacuation put at 3,703mw as at February 13.
However, the maximum capacity available for domestic consumption stood at 3,861mw while the maximum capacity available for export to neighbouring country, Niger Republic, was put at 290mw.
It would be recalled that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sahel Power SPV, the new owner of Kano Distribution company (Disco), Jamil Gwana, said at the sidelines of the first CEOs meeting with the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) last December, that part of its allocation was evacuated to nearby Niger Republic in line with an agreement with the Federal Government.
Also recall that the national grid dropped from 3,563mw to 3,200mw in January 27th, following a shutdown of the Shiroro generation facility for routine maintenance.
Although the new owners of electricity companies have blamed the cut in power supply to inadequate gas flow to the generation companies (Gencos) since early January, the Federal Government blamed the gas supply constraint on oil and gas infrastructure vandalism that cut short gas supply to over seven affected power generation plants in the eastern axis and the Escravos-Western axis that linked Lagos and the entire south-west.
Chairman of NERC, Dr Sam Amadi, referred to inadequate gas supply as being responsible for shutting down some of government’s already commissioned National Integrated Power Plants (NIPPs).
He stated that despite commissioning the plants, gas supply remained a serious challenge, lamenting that this issue was earlier neglected.
But the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo at the Power Financing Conference, last week, said the issue of gas supply constraint caused by recent pipeline vandalism was being addressed.
He said: “We are collaborating with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the security agencies to secure our pipelines.”
With gas supply gradually returning to normalcy, power generation and evacuation is expected to rise to its peak of 4,500mw, barring any hitch. Statistics from the Ministry of Power, however, placed the peak demand forecast at 12,800mw, with current peak generation only at 4,151mw.
Energy experts have described the situation as a mismatch, demanding more efforts to be put in place to fast track expansion of the Gencos and the transmission network at the upstream sector as well as improved services by the Discos at the electricity downstream sector.
– Daily Trust