‘11% of generated power lost to weak grid’

Power Transmission21 March 2014, Abuja – About 11 per cent of the power generated in the country is lost to transmission infrastructure weakness and limited grid, the Oxford Business Group has said.

The OBG, in its 2013 report on Nigeria, circulated at the ongoing Nigerian Oil and Gas conference in Abuja on Thursday, cited the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission as the source of the information.

It said the NERC’s target was to reduce the figure to between five per cent and seven per cent.

The report stated, “Capacity for transmission was between 4,500 megawatts and 5,000MW as of mid-2013. Ideally, transmission capacity will outpace generation capacity, with the initial goals to increase the former to 6,000MW by the end of 2014.

“Loss rates are at about 11 per cent, according to NERC, and the target is to reduce that figure to between five per cent and seven per cent.”

As of March 18, 2014, the total power generated in the country was 3,291.8MW and analysts say what this means is that 11 per cent of the generated power must have been lost due to weak grid.

The OBG added that the grid was in a bad shape but said the details of its condition were unclear.

Similarly, the Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises, Mr. Benjamin Dikki, had put the quantum of power being lost to dilapidated transmission system and inadequate gas supply at 1,761MW.

“There is an unutilised generation capacity of 1,761 megawatts due to gas and transmission constraints from the NIPP power plants,” he said.

According to him, weak power transmission and inadequate gas supply have been identified as two critical issues that can derail the expectations of the Federal Government, consumers and other stakeholders in the private sector-driven power sector.

All the 10 power generation stations formerly owned by the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria had a combined available capacity of 2,074MW as of September 2012.

While the total installed capacity in the country remains 6,976.40 MW, the actual power generation has always revolved around 3,500MW.

The Minister of Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo, had recently estimated that about $3.4bn would be required to bring the capacity of electricity transmission in the country up to date by 2016.

The minister had lamented that transmission remained the weak link in the power process with capacity for 4,800MW.

The Chairman, Board of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, Mr. Ibrahim Waziri, had said that the firm would boost electricity supply by completing 160 ongoing projects across the country.

He said, “We are working towards achieving 10,000 megawatts wheeling capacity by 2017, while planning to hit 20,000MW by 2020.

“This projection has been at the front burner of the board in achieving sustainable power supply in the country.”

He also said the TCN would be overhauled in order to be able to improve electricity distribution operations in the country.

According to him, the board will in no distance time ensure adequate solution and prompt reduction of energy losses.

The TCN chairman said the country currently had about 5,000MW available installed capacity, but about 4,100MW was being distributed, while putting the transmission capacity of the company at 7,000MW.


– The Punch

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