09 July 2014, Lagos – Shell’s Afam power plant and the Rivers Independent Power Project plant are currently down, making the peak electricity generation in the country to stay at 3,700 megawatts, according to findings by our correspondent.
The power plants are undergoing maintenance, the Special Adviser to the Minister of Power on Power Systems, Mr. Jonathan Ogbonna, told our correspondent in a telephone interview.
He, however, confirmed that the Utorogu and Ughelli East gas plants, hitherto shut down about four weeks ago, were now functional, hence the slight improvement in power generation lately.
The shutdown of the gas plants had drastically affected power generation as supply fell from over 4,000MW to as low as 2,900MW.
Ogbonna told our correspondent, “The gas plants are now okay. Generation has slightly improved. It has not hit back to what we were expecting because Shell’s Afam power plant and the Rivers IPP have been taken out for maintenance.
“We are doing about 3,700MW peak.”
He said with the availability of gas, minus non-functional units of some hydro power plants, the country could generate 4,200MW if the Rivers IPP and Afam plant had been functional.
“These are statutory exercises. If you don’t maintain these plants, when you need them, they won’t be there for you,” he said.
As of last week, the power supply situation in Lagos and other parts of the country was bad, with households and businesses experiencing hours of blackout.
Till date, some areas have yet to experience an hour of stable power supply.
The Managing Director, Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company, Mr. Abiodun Ajifowobaje, had told our correspondent that generation has been bad in the past days. The system is still very bad. We are receiving just 250MW to service our maximum demand of 1,250MW.”
Just last week, the Federal Government vowed to fight gas pipeline vandals, whom it said had made the supply of gas to power generation companies very difficult.
It described the vandals as terrorists, adding that their activities had impacted negatively on the quest to realise the target of uninterrupted power supply to Nigerians in the shortest possible time.
The Minister of State for Power, Mr. Mohammed Wakil, complained that the problems of lack of gas and pipeline vandalism were demeaning the government’s efforts of ensuring stable electricity supply.
The minister had said, “We are going to fight until we are victorious. We must deliver so that the dream of Mr. President’s transformation agenda for power is achieved.
“In order to underscore the seriousness of vandalism, I had in time past referred to it as infrastructural terrorism. We have already done a pilot model in a community in Kogi State, where we inaugurated the ‘Operation Save Power Infrastructure’; that effort was very successful.”
– The Punch