Nigerians groan as power generation drops by 1,100MW

Power transmission24 June 2014, Lagos – The power supply situation in Lagos and other parts of the country has gone very bad in the past five days, with households and businesses experiencing hours of blackout.

In the intervening period, some areas have yet to experience a minute of power supply.

This, however, has resulted in many homes running generators all through the night. The World Cup tournament has further exposed this challenge as petrol filling stations have continued to record increased patronage by people buying petrol and diesel to power their electricity generators.

The Special Adviser to the Minister of Power on Power Systems, Mr. Jonathan Ogbonna, confirmed the drop in electricity supply to our correspondent on the telephone on Sunday, attributing the development to the shutdown of the Utorogu and Ughelli East gas plants.

He said the shutdown had drastically affected power generation as supply had fallen from over 4,000 megawatts to as low as 2,900MW.

He said, “Three weeks ago, the two gas plants were shut down. This has affected power generation, which went down to as low as 2,900MW. The 2,900MW was distributed in the format we have always done.

“From the National Electricity Regulatory Commission, there is a ratio for distribution. His has been followed.”

Ogbonna, however, said the maintenance works on the gas plants were still on, adding, “From the last report I got this morning, they are now re-commissioning the plants.

“When you demobilise after working on the system, re-commissioning will then be done. The re-commissioning is in stages; this is to ensure that everything is in order before we re-commission.”

In response to complaints by consumers, the Managing Director, Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company, Mr. Abiodun Ajifowobaje, said, “Generation has been bad in the last three days. The system is still very bad. We are receiving just 250MW to service our maximum demand of 1,250MW.”

The Federal Government had on June 2 announced the shutdown of Utorogu and Ughelli East gas plants.

The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, had said the closure of the plants was to ensure their proper maintenance.

Nebo said the closure of the gas plants would affect the output of power generation stations relying on them for gas supplies.

The minister said, “I am publicising the planned closure for maintenance by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Corporation of its Utorogu and Ughelli East gas plants.

“This will no doubt have an impact on the output of the power stations fed by these gas plants, which include Egbin and Omotosho. The plants to be shut for short periods of time on different dates will inevitably result in the temporary loss of generated power.

“This is regretted but I assure you all that it will not last longer than the short period needed for the maintenance and re-commissioning work, and our experts will be at work to ensure that available power is distributed in a manner to minimise inconvenience to consumers.”


– The Punch

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