23 December 2014, Lagos – The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo has said Nigeria’s ability to grow her power production above what it is today using gas as fuel is beinghampered by incessant vandalism of petroleum pipeline.
The minister said each time any of the major petroleum pipelines in the country is vandalised, electricity generationdrops to about 3,100 megawatts (MW) for at least four to six weeks, which it takes to effect repairs on the affected pipeline.
According to the minister, between May and November this year, Nigeria recorded about 20 breaks on petroleum pipelines that convey gas molecules to thermal power plants.
He explained that in addition to vandalism on petroleum pipelines, attacks on other power assets like transmission towers and lines have also taken a toll on the power sector.
However, a recent annual statistical bulletin on crude oil activities in the country published by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) showed that pipeline vandalism increased in the country by 58 per cent over the previous year of 2013.
The NNPC statistics also revealed that a total of 3,570 line breaks was reported on NNPC pipelines, out of which 3,505 was as a result of vandalism, while 65 cases were due to system deterioration.
The NNPC explained that the development resulted in a loss of 327.48 thousand metric tonnes of petroleum products worth about N38.88 billion while 2.31 million barrels of crude oil worth about N38,992 million was lost in the same period. According to the annual report, there were 34 cases of fire incidents during the year under review.
Nebo stated that vandalism was still a factor to be considered as one of the major challenges in the country’s power production.
He said power production would have grown to about 5000MW and subsequently 7000MW installed generating capacity of the country if issues of vandalism of petroleum pipelines had been adequately taken care of and that the ministries of power and petroleum resources had initiated a work plan to see steady growth in gas supplied to the power sector.
“Currently, we have over 900 million standard cubic feet of gas supplied to the power sector per day but we also have assurance that additional 900 million cubic feet will be added to this soon. If we have that, you can imagine how much we would be generating,” Nebo also added.
– This Day