31 December 2014, Abuja – Average power generation declined to 2,900 megawatts per hour in the third quarter of 2014, down from 3,250MW/h recorded in the second quarter of the year.
Despite efforts to increase power generation to at least 5,000MW before the year ends, latest figures from the third quarter economic report of the Central Bank of Nigeria showed that the country lost 350MW/h of generated electricity during the review period.
In August, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, in a document put together by the Petroleum and Power ministries, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission and the CBN, said the country’s gas-fired power plants would be maintained so that the 5,000MW target could be attained before the end of the year.
Alison-Madueke had said her ministry was focusing on a number of gas projects that would help to cushion the effect of supply shortage in the short term, adding that the projects were at various stages of maturation and would be concluded before the end of the year.
“These projects should unlock an additional of 370 million cubic feet per day of gas, assuring us of a total of 5,000MW (inclusive of hydro) within the four to five months to the year end,” she stated.
But the CBN, in its latest report, stated that the average electricity generation and consumption fell during the third quarter.
The bank said, “At 2,900MW/h, estimated average electricity generation fell by 10.8 per cent, compared with the level attained in the second quarter of 2014. The development was attributed to the shutdown of the Utorogu and Ugheli East gas plants for maintenance.
“At 2,867MW/h, the estimated average electricity consumption fell by 5.8 per cent, compared with the level attained in the second quarter of 2014. The decline in electricity consumption was attributed to the fall in power generation, transmission and distribution.”
The Minster of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, stated that in November, Nigeria lost about 1,200MW of electricity as a result of the rupturing of pipelines that supplied gas needed to fire the power generation plants.
He stated that the country’s power generation fell from about 4,600MW, which was attained earlier in November, to about 3,600MW.
Nebo said, “Sometimes, people don’t understand what is happening. For instance, for about four weeks or so, until about two weeks ago, we were generating a minimum of 4,200MW. Sometimes, we generate 4,300MW and 4,400MW, plus spinning reserves of over 200MW.
“But all of a sudden, vandals hit both the eastern and the western axis, disrupted the flow of gas to the turbines and we had to shut down the power stations and lost over 1,200MW.”
– The Punch