02 December 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) yesterday suffered a colossal setback losing 4,368 mega watts (Mw) as a result of vandalism of gas pipelines, a factor which has the potential to cause massive blackouts across major cities and towns in the country.
A visit to the website of the Transmission Company of the Nigeria (TCN) disclosed that the attack on the pipelines yesterday led to the closure of some power plants, including Geregu I and II, Alaoji NIPP and Odukpani.
It was also gathered that there was another vandalism on the Escravos Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) line and Trans National Pipeline (TNP) that increased gas constraints and impacted generation negatively.
Consequently, the attacks reduced power supply by over 275Mw in just a few hours, a source at the Ministry of Power revealed to our correspondent.
It was learnt that on the day under review, the Service Operator (SO) of the Transmission Company of Nigeria sent out 3,001Mw to the 11 distribution companies (Discos).
The electricity market however recorded 0Mw line constraint, 0Mw water management constraint, and 0Mw water management constraint.
According to the source, if there were no losses, the sector would have evacuated 7,369Mw to the Discos. Also, following the losses, the NESI lost about N2.09 billion.
“On November 30 2016, average power sent out was 3001MWh/hour (down by 275MWh/h). The reported gas constraint was 4368Mw. The reported line constraint was 0Mw. The reported high frequency constraint is 0Mw. The water management constraint was 0Mw. The power sector lost an estimated N2,096,000, 000 on November 29 2016 due to constraints.
“Geregu I and II, Alaoji NIPP and Odukpani were shut down as at 600am this morning due to gas constraints. Low spinning reserve may indicate lower grid stability. Further vandalism on the ELPS line and Trans National Pipeline (TNP) has increased gas constraints and impacted generation negatively. Review of MDA debt submissions underway by the Office of the Vice President,” the source said.
Meanwhile, in its bid to tackle the paucity of funds in the power sector after a court litigation stalled efforts at increasing its tariff, the Ministry is now brainstorming on other ways of raising revenue for the sector.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has reportedly asked the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power to come up with other ideas of injecting more money into the sector.
According to reports, the government is going to have a recourse to metering, accounting and insistence that the Discos become efficient to boost their revenue collection.
Following the new directive, the ministry has resolved to treat international customers like any other customer on the grid since they undertook to work on the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET).
The government has, however, directed that the Market Operator (MO) should collect its arrears from international customers and remit to generation companies via NBET and service provider through the MO.