20 January 2014, Abuja – Apparently worried over the shortage of gas supply to fire the gas-powered stations for electricity generation, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has convened a meeting of the stakeholders this week to fashion out ways of tackling the challenges facing the new power investors.
THISDAY gathered from one of the new investors that this week’s meeting would be the second of such engagement within the past two weeks. It was learnt that the aim of the regular engagements was to seek ways of addressing the increasing challenges militating against improved electricity supply in the country.
The investor, who identified obsolete technology, temperature and other environmental conditions as some of the other challenges in the generation companies, insisted that inadequate gas supply to fire the turbines remained the greatest problem facing the gencos.
“One or two of the power plants were designed under Chinese cold climate, which has lower temperature than Nigeria. Nigeria’s hot climate makes them to operate below capacity. Some of the technologies of the power plants are three decade old and need to be replaced with modern technologies. But the greatest challenge is gas supply limitation,” he said.
“I am not into gas business but I am a consumer. It is the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that provides gas but they have their challenges. The NGC has the challenges of sabotage. Some people are sabotaging the gas pipelines because no sooner than they fixed a leakage than another leakage would come up in a different spot,” he said.
He said the stakeholders had been holding regular consultations with NERC on how to address these challenges.
“We have another meeting in Abuja this week and everything is about gas. The gas producers are trying their best but it is not enough. But I think the NGC has plans to secure the gas pipelines better and engage the communities to protect the lines,” he added.
He stated that the generation companies had been generating electricity according to the volume of gas supplied by the NGC.
It was gathered that all the gas-fired plants are generating at half-installed capacity.
Some of the gas plants affected include, the 1,074megawatt capacity Alaoji Power Station in Abia State, which has been test-run but no gas to fire the available unit; Olorunsogo I and II in Ogun State; Omotosho I and II in Ondo State, as well as Geregu I and II in Kogi State.
The 1,320 mw capacity Egbin Power Station and the 230mw AES Plant, which used to generate over 1,000 were generating only around 600 at the weekend, due to inadequate gas supply.
– This Day