The recent dip in power supply in the country, rather than show signs of improvement, has gone worse with the loss of over 1,476 megawatts due to shrinking water level, shortage in gas supply and high frequency.
The country is said to be losing over 1,181MW to gas supply constraints, with six gas-fired power plants said to be affected.
Currently, the AES barges 202-205 and 207-211 are losing 288MW; Geregu Gas GT11 and 12, 146MW; Egbin ST1-5, 492MW; Olorunsogo Gas GT1-4, 7 and 8, 66.4MW; Afam IV-V GT17 and 18, 69MW; and Alaoji GT3, 120MW.
The national power generation statistics obtained by our correspondent indicates that collectively, the power plants have the capacity to generate 2,142MW.
Due to water management issues, the Shiroro 411G2 power plant is said to be losing 150MW, while the Geregu NIPP GT23 is also losing 145MW to high frequency.
Off-peak power generation for the country was 2,931MW last week.
The government explained that the current epileptic supply of power in the country was as a result of the massive drop in generated power by 1,000MW.
Figures released by the Federal Ministry of Power showed that the country’s peak generation as of October 15, 2014 was 3,513.5MW, against peak demand of 12,800MW.
The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, had said the poor electricity supply across the country was due to the 1,000MW drop in generation.
Nebo, who attributed the drop to the menace of gas pipeline vandalism, said, “We want to be very sure that this is nipped in the bud with regard to gas supply and we are doing everything possible to minimise the incidence of vandalism.
“Now, look at what vandalism has cost us; nearly 1,000MW of power in the past one week on a daily basis. And this means that every Nigerian is cringing in pain because of the loss.”
The minister also explained that two major gas plants were severely affected and this had resulted in the fall in electricity generation.
He said, “Within the past week, the Okoloma Gas Plant has been down due to sabotage, blowing up and vandalism of three of its wellheads, robbing Shell of the capacity to deliver over 180mscuf of gas on a daily basis. When you translate this, you are talking of over 720MW of power that is stalled for the past several days.
“So, that really caused our power generation, transmission and distribution to dwindle. And the NPDC is also having challenges because of old gas generating plants whose components are either due for repair or for maintenance. And some of these parts are not readily available but these things need to be changed.
“That has also knocked off nearly 80mscuf of gas. When you add this to what we have lost in Shell, you will see why we have dropped 1,000MW in the past several days. That will show you what gas can do and our continued dependence on gas as our major source of energy to our power plants is really a national security issue.”
The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, had recently announced new measures to address financing-related issues in the power sector, including the N213bn facility to settle legacy gas debts.
She, alongside the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele; Nebo; and Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, Dr. Sam Amadi, had said that the facility, which would be provided by the central bank in collaboration with the Deposit Money Banks, would also be used to address revenue shortfall in the power sector.
Aside the gas constraint, the power sector is also facing transmission issues.
In May this year, the Federal Government said it was planning to spend $3.7bn to upgrade the power transmission infrastructure.
Vice President Namadi Sambo had said that with the injection of the money, the government would be able to wheel up to 20,000MW of power.
He added that the government, in its efforts to improve power generation, had planned to invest $8bn on a Public-Private Partnership basis to develop the local gas potential.
Sambo also said there were moves to fast-track the system to ensure the availability of gas to the power plants by involving owners of the new plants and international oil companies in the development of gas infrastructure.