The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has again failed to wheel 72.01megawatts (MW) out of the 3,556.70MW, generated by the generation companies (Gencos).
The data obtained from the Federal Ministry of Power, posted on its website yesterday, indicated that TCN could only evacuate 3,484.69MW of the total generated power on October 2. The statistic also showed that the sector recorded peak generation of 3,888.40MW the same day.
TCN on September 28 recorded a wheeling gap of 71.6MW from the 3,449.85MW that the Gencos produced.
Although the company claimed that it has a guaranteed 6,000MW capacity, it has maintained an evacuation gap, which the generation and distribution companies (Discos) finger as one of the reasons the sector still lags behind in terms of power supply.
The position of the Discos was evident between September 15 and 19 when the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) were on strike and the TCN could not wheel the generated energy.
When asked to account for the gap, the TCN General Manager (Public Affairs), Mrs. Seun Olagunju, toldThe Nation on the phone that it was due to the fire outbreak at the transmission station in Apo, Abuja.
This is in tandem with what the Chairman, Heirs Holdings Ltd and Transcorp, Mr. Tony Elumelu, said on September 10 that in the country, one of the biggest challenges to power generation was transmission.
He was quoted in a statement by the Communications Manager (Marketing & Corporate Communications), Bolanle Omisore, as saying that “while Ughelli Power Plant generated at full capacity for the first time in July, we’ve been asked to scale down generation because of the outdated transmission systems. For every 100MW generated and sent to transmission companies, 40 per cent is lost, in part because of this infrastructure issue.”
But Mrs. Olagunju explained that it is easier to blame government-owned TCN, being the only publicly- owned entity in the power value chain, insisting that in the history of the Nigerian power sector, it has never generated power beyond the company’s wheeling capacity of 6,000MW.
She debunked Elumelu’s statement, saying it is not true.
“It is easier to blame TCN because it is the only government-owned company in the sector. Nigeria has never generated up to 5,000MW and TCN has a guaranteed capacity of 6,000MW. We can evacuate 6,000MW if they can generate it,” she said.