26 March 2014, Abuja – The country has been losing about 2,100 megawatts of electricity in past few months as a result of vandalism of gas pipelines, the Federal Government has said.
The government also said on Tuesday that it was quoted out of context when it said it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Democratic Republic of Congo for the importation of power.
The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, said these at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Power in Abuja during a press briefing on the current challenges in power supply across the country.
He said the recent dip in power supply was due to inadequate gas supply to the thermal power plants as a result of recurring vandalism of the gas pipelines.
Nebo said, “Some of the more recent attacks on gas infrastructure associated with the power sector include the ELPS in which a pipeline was out for over seven months with a loss of 200 million standard cubic feet of gas and generation capacity of about 800MW; the Trans-Forcados is out now with a loss of 200mscf of gas and generation capacity of about 800MW.
“Also, the Alakiri-Onne LBVS was blasted in March and this adversely impacted on gas supply to industries. There have been similar attacks on the Trans Niger with a loss of 120mscf of gas and 500MW from the Afam VI IPP. This pipeline is vandalised for bunkering about twice every month. The temporary shutdown of the Chevron gas plant this month contributed to the low peak generation of 2,672MW on March 12, 2014.”
The minister said gas shortage was not just affecting the availability of power for dispatch to consumers, but the frequency of system collapse was also strongly related to the menace.
On what the government was doing to ensure gas supply, Nebo said it was projected that additional 295mscf of gas would be available by June 2014 and another 370mscf by the end of the year.
He added, “In order to actualise the generation targets provided in the strategic plan for the power sector, the President recently approved the reconstitution of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Gas to Power.
“The committee will be charged with the responsibility of identifying and ensuring that all the enablers and interventions required to deliver adequate power to the nation’s power plants are delivered on time.”
The minister apologised to electricity consumers for the difficulties currently being experienced and assured them of visible improvement by June as directed by the President.
Nebo also denied reports that the government was planning to import electricity from Congo DR.
The Minister of State for Power, Mr. Mohammed Wakili, had on Monday at a conference stated that the government had signed an MoU with Congo DR to import and export electricity.
But Nebo said, “The minister of state was quoted out of context. We are not importing power. It is just that Congo is having a very huge hydro power project and power is not something you just sign on and inject funds into.”
– The Punch