Power: Tougher times head for Nigeria

Egbin power plant.

Egbin power plant.

…Egbin generation drops to 300MW

28 April 2015, Lagos –
Following the significant decline in power supply witnessed across the country in the last couple of days and the untold hardship it has brought upon Nigerians, there are indications that the power situation is far from improvement. Vanguard learnt that power generation had dropped from 3,000 megawatts to about 2,988.72MW. In a telephone interview with Vanguard, Chief Executive Officer, Egbin Power Plc, Mr. Mike Uzoigwe, said Egbin plant produced 300 megawatts, as against the expected 1000 megawatts it needs to deliver to Nigerians.

“For some time now, there has not been much supply of gas to us at Egbin, and as such we are limited to 300 megawatts by the limited gas supply we now receive. What would other power stations across Lagos state receive to drive power supply?” he asked.

Speaking also, the Assistant General Manager, Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company, Mr. Pekun Adeyanju, said that what it receives for distribution is not sufficient to service its numerous customers seeking steady power supply.

He said, “Within the last one week, what we are been giving to distribute is not close to what is needed and that is hampering our efficiency to satisfy our covering areas.

Specifically, in the last one week we have been receiving between 350 megawatts down from its expectation of 1250 megawatts, with the difference of 900 megawatts. “In our own way, we have tried to manage the situation by rationalizing the distribution of power so that it can go round to our customers.”

Also, a source in the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, attributed the drop in the megawatts to distorted supply of gas, which according to him has been a major challenge for the company.

“Most of the country’s thermal and hydro-power plants are dependent on gas for optimum performance to meet the demands of Nigerians desiring for robust power supply,” he said.

Development of gas infrastructure has been seen as a major roadmap to stable power supply in Nigeria. Investors in gas had for a long time complained of unattractive price mechanism. For them, it has not been competitive enough to incentivize them to supply the domestic market.

The government has gone some way towards tackling that by increasing the price of gas-to-power from $1.50/million cubic feet to $2.50, but private investors say that will have to rise still further to make their business viable.

“Nigeria is well endowed when it comes to natural gas, which is the logical way to generate the bulk of its power needs, but there is a shortage of infrastructure for gas,” says Seven Energy’s Mr Iheanacho, pointing to opportunities in gas supply through pipelines and road.

Seven Energy recently invested $100m in gas-to-power infrastructure, in partnership with the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, NSIA. Deteriorating transmission networks can lose up to 30 percent of generated electricity, and are preventing Nigeria from being lit up, even if more electricity is generated.
*Ediri Ejoh – Vanguard

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