18 August 2015, Lagos – The recent improvement in power generation by Egbin Power Plc has been attributed to the completion of the repairs of the vandalised Escravos-Lagos Pipeline network by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
THISDAY gathered that the repair of the pipeline has enhanced the supply of gas to the biggest power generating plant in the country.
A source at the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) told THISDAY at the weekend that Egbin is currently receiving enough gas to generate above 1,000 megawatts.
“Escravos-Lagos supply gas to Egbin and the two Geregu plants. The contractors recently completed the repairs and this has enhanced our capacity to supply gas to these plants. Currently, we have more gas than the domestic demand for these plants. But you know that the problem is not basically generation but the capacity of the transmission network to evacuate additional power on the grid,” he said.
With the completion of the repairs, gas supply to Egbin has increased consistently in recent months.
It was gathered that the power plant received 3.5 million scf in January, 2.8 million standard cubic feet per day (Scf/d) in February; 3.1 million scf/d in March, 2.8 million scf/d in April, 2.4 million scf/d in May, 4.0 million scf/d in June and 6.1 million scf/d in July
The 1,320 megawatt-capacity plant was barely generating 500 megawatts when the new investors took over on November 1, 2013 due to the poor state of the six units, which have a capacity to generate 220 megawatts each.
However, with the capacity upgrade by the new owners, coupled with the improved gas supply, electricity generation has improved in recent months.
Chief Executive Officer of Egbin Power Plc, Mr. Dallas Peavey had revealed that the plant had hit a generation capacity of 1,100 megawatts, thus accounting for almost one-third of the current improvement in power supply across the country.
He attributed the recent ramp-up of Egbin’s capacity to continuous investment and revamp of the plant by its new owners, Sahara Power Group and the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO).
According to Peavey, when the new owners took over in November 2013, generation at Egbin averaged only 500 megawatts due to the dismal state of its six units, with only two of the six units operational at the plant’s lowest point.
According to him, the last time the power plant hit the 1,000MW mark was eight years ago, adding that this peak lasted for less than two hours.
He said the transformation in Egbin commenced after its acquisition by Kepco Energy Resource Limited (KERL), in collaboration with its technical partners, Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO).
“Through the injection of close to N50 billion in new capital into Egbin post privatisation, the Sahara Power/KEPCO partnership has brought to the power plant, an unprecedented level of innovation, professionalism, human capital development and continuing investmentin new technology. The control room panels, installed at the plant’s inception have been removed and upgraded to state of the art digital panels. The highlight of the main plant rehabilitation occurred in the first quarter of 2015, when the company successfully rehabilitated ST Unit 6, bringing an additional 220MW to the national grid and restoring the power plant to its installed capacity of 1320MW,” Peavy explained.
With these developments, Peavy said the plant was equipped to generate power at its installed 1,320MW capacity, while the new owners was exploring expansion in power generation to hit 2, 670 megawatts, subject to availability of gas, additional transmission capacity and improved demand for power.
Peavey said the new owners had developed a roadmap for consistent retooling and re-positioning of the company to conform to the latest technology and ensure optimal performance.
Peavy added that Egbin Power is currently the only power facility that provides over 150MW of spinning reserve, Grid System Frequency and Voltage Ampere Reactive (VAR) Power control which provides the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) the means to balance supply across Nigeria.
– This Day