30 December 2016, Lagos – After hovering around 3,000 megawatts for about 10 weeks, the country’s total generated power crossed the 4,100MW mark on Monday, December 26, 2016.
The country had attained a peak generation of 4,358.6MW on October 16, but this was not sustained as the figure dropped below 4,000MW and had been fluctuating around 3,000MW since October 20.
However, industry data obtained by our correspondent in Abuja on Thursday showed that power generation peaked at 4,173.5MW on December 26, signalling a new high after recording less than 4,000MW for close to 10 weeks.
Further findings, however, showed that the major challenge to improved power generation was gas constraint, as figures from the sector revealed that on December 27, a total of 2,960MW of electricity was constrained as a result of gas supply hitches.
Similarly, the power sector lost an estimated N1.64bn on December 27 this year due to diverse constraints in the industry.
An analysis of the data from the sector showed that the lowest quantum of power generated across the country between September 19 and December 28 was 31MW, which was recorded on October 28.
However, there was no total system collapse recorded during the period highlighted above.
Operators blamed the poor power generation on the disruptions in the supply of gas to gas-fired electricity generating plants.
The Managing Director, Frontier Oil Limited, one of the major suppliers of gas to power plants, Mr. Dada Thomas, told our correspondent that the vandalism of pipelines had drastically impacted the supply of gas to power producers.
He said, “Why are people blowing up gas lines? It is suicide to blow up gas lines and it can be classified as an economic sabotage, because when you do that, everybody suffers. People in the Niger Delta suffer, those in Lagos suffer as well as others in Kano, for such acts cut down electricity supply.
“You can’t run a thermal power plant without gas. They are our major customers, for 80 per cent of the domestic gas in this country today is sold to the power plants.”