After a recent relative improvement in power generation, the country has lost about 800 megawatts of electricity in the last one week following chronic liquidity challenges, transmission constraints and gas shortages, investigation has revealed.
This is coming as Egbin Power Station is on the brink of shutdown following insufficient gas to fire the six-unit capacity plant.
The Daily Average Load Allocation obtained from the generation companies showed that power supply hit one-month peak on March 22, with a peak generation of 4,452 megawatts and lowest generation of 3,174.6 megawatts before it dropped consistently for over one week.
An analysis of the operational report showed that during the weekend, power supply was the lowest since March 4, with a peak generation of 4,199.50MW, which lasted for very few hours before it dropped to 2,797.50MW
The report showed that supply improved drastically on February 27 when it exceeded 4,300MW and dropped below 3,000MW on March 4, which was the lowest since February 8 when generation hit the lowest for the month of February and March.
The Power Daily Broadcast obtained also showed that chronic transmission constraints and gas shortages have led to cyclic rise and drop in generation since January. According to the report, power generation was worse in January with partial system collapse on January 18 and 19.The situation improved in February and March but supply continues to rise and fall cyclically. For instance, after the February 27 improvement in power supply, generation dropped on March 4; 5-7; 10-12; 14-21; and 23- 30.
The daily average load allocation report further showed that there was significant improvement in supply on March 8, 9, 13 and 22. While the generation and distribution companies have blamed poor supply on gas shortages and grid instability caused by weak transmission infrastructure; the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) blamed the Discos for rejecting power allocated to them. However, gas suppliers have argued that there is enough gas to generate power but that the generation companies cannot pay for gas.
But the GenCos have insisted that they are not able to pay for gas because they are being owed for the power they generated into the National Grid. Explaining the current low voltage in Lagos area, the Nigeria Electricity System Operator, an arm of TCN, has stated that only two units of Egbin Power Station are being fired as a result of insufficient gas. The Managing Director of Egbin Power Plc, Mr. Dallas Peavey had threatened to shut down operations this week as a result of non-settlement of N110 billion debt, inadequate gas supply and what the company called the inefficiency in operations of the TCN.
He told journalists that the country was heading towards another blackout as liquidity, transmission and gas supply issues had forced the 1,320MW capacity Egbin to be generating only 350MW at the moment. Peavy insisted that Egbin had hit a generation of 1,100 megawatts but that the grid could not take the power because of the capability issues within the TCN system.
“We are constrained and limited to generate about 350MW daily due to both TCN system operations and inadequate gas supply issues. So, 70 per cent of our output is lost because available power can’t be evacuated. When you get good news from TCN that you can increase your generation, we will be faced with not “enough gas” and when there is gas, you have TCN issues,” Peavey reportedly said.
He said that another challenges was the inadequate gas supply to generate at optimal capacity as well as the huge debts owed the company by the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Traders (NBET) and Market Operator.