Power sector loses N2bn daily, more turbines pack up

31 May 2016, Lagos – The power sector has been losing an average of N2bn daily since the resurgence of pipeline bombings by militants in the Niger Delta, latest electricity supply statistics have shown.

Power transmission station

Power transmission station

This is coming as the number of functional gas-fired power generating turbines across the country has dropped from 50 that were operational in April to about 30 as of the end of last week.

In a report by The PUNCH late last month, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, had stated that out of about 140 power generating turbines in the country, only 50 were functional, adding that the facilities were not working because there was no gas to fire them up.

“The power being generated comes from only about 78 turbines out of 140, and they are largely fired by gas. Now, power has gone down because we have gas outage due to the failure of pipelines. And as a result of that, 78 turbines dropped to may be about 50 because there was no gas,” Fashola had said.

Confirming the minister’s position on lack of gas for the power generating plants, latest data on the industry obtained on Monday showed that the country lost 3,748 megawatts of electricity due to gas constraints on Saturday.

Nigeria could not generate 92MW and 127MW of electricity due to line and water management constraints, respectively, while only 2,461MW hour of energy was sent out.

“The power sector lost the equivalent of N1.904bn on May 28, 2016 due to constraints,” the report stated.

An analysis of statistics showed that on the average, the power sector has been losing about N2bn daily as a result of constraints to electricity generation, while the major challenge, according to the report, is inadequate gas supply.

On Friday, the report revealed that the power sector lost N2.117bn, while 3,849MW of electricity could not be generated as a result of gas constraint, as only 2,163MwH of power was sent out to consumers across the country.

Additional data from the System Operator of the Transmission Company of Nigeria showed that the country’s power generation hovered between 2,300MW and 3,000MW for several weeks, but this fell drastically to 2,020.1MW on Saturday, a development that was largely attributed to the heightened bombings of pipelines by militants.

It was further gathered that the drop in the number of functional gas-fired power turbines was due to the fact that some of the facilities get their gas supplies from oil companies whose facilities were attacked by the militants.

Sources at the Power ministry and the Presidency told our correspondent that the destruction of pipelines belonging to oil companies was not only affecting the firms, but also hampering power generation.

 

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