Nigeria’s Power Generation Fails to Keep Pace with Transmission Expansions


Data released by the National Bureau of Statistics indicates that in the three months ending June 2017, Nigeria’s 25 power plants generated a paltry 2,503MW of electricity while the Federal Governments investments in Transmission infrastructure led to grid capacity of nearly 6000MW.

 Within the period, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) commissioned a new 40MVA Transformer at its 132/33kV transmission sub-station at Mayo-Belwa in Adamawa State.

As a result of the completion of the new station, transmission capacity in Yola Sub-Region increased with about 32MW. The Mayo-Belwa 132/33kV Substation connects Ngurore 33kV Feeder and Mayo-Belwa 33kV Feeder thus extending power supply to Jada, Toungo, Ganye and several other towns and villages in Taraba State.

According to a statement from TCN, it is working with the Kaduna State government to build two new 330kV substations in Kaduna and Zaria and three additional 132kV substations at Rigasa, Kakau and Jaji as well as the reconstruction of the Kaduna-Kano 330kV SC transmission line.

The company is also collaborating with Kebbi, Kano, Ogun, Lagos, Bauchi, Abia and Edo State Governors among others, in implementing its flagship Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme (TREP).

TCN also worked on increasing the transformer capacity in its Ajah substation and successfully fixed a 60MVA 132/33kV power transformer which was successfully refurbished, installed and commissioned into service last month.

This has brought the station’s transformer capacity, previously at 132kV level, to 220MVA. Seun Olagunju, general manager (Public Affairs) of TCN in a release said “The TCN is also installing another 60MVA 132/33kV mobile power transformer in the same station to further increase transmission capacity in the area.”

But the power plants did not fully utilise this capacity. “The power generation statistics for Q2 2017 reflected that a total average of 2,503 GWh of energy was generated by power stations as Egbin Power Plant contributed about 11.22 percent share of the average energy generated which represents the highest generation among the twenty-fivee (25) power plants within the period under review,” said the NBS.

The State Statistics office further said that daily energy generation attained a peak of 4,079 MW on the 29th May, 2017 and daily energy sent out on same date was 4,014 MW.

“Similarly, the highest daily energy generated per hour attained a peak of 97,891 MWh on the 29th May, 2017 and daily energy sent out per hour on same date was 96,334 MWh. This represents the highest level of energy generated and sent out in the month of May 2017 and in Q2 2017.”

Challenges and assumptions

Industry operators always cite the inability of the national grid to wheel electricity generated as a major problem afflicting the sector but the data has shown that gas availability and resolving commercial terms are Nigeria’s biggest challenges.

Eighty percent of Nigeria’s power plants depend on gas as feedstock to generate power but many of the plants do not get regular supply. This is largely due to their inability to pay their gas suppliers. The power plant operators in turn blame DisCos for poor collection.

However, the NNPC is optimistic the situation could change. In the organisation’s Financial and Operations Report for May 2017, said the average Natural Gas supply to power plants of 729 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (mmscfd) in May 2017 was 63.74 percent higher than the daily gas supply to the plants, of 446mmscfd, during the same month in 2016.

According to the NNPC, the average national daily gas production for May 2017 stood at 242.70 billion cubic feet (BCF) or an average of 7,829.11mmscfd, representing a slight increase, compared with April gas production of 672mmscfd.

Source: IWIN

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