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Nigeria’s power supply crashes by 1,297 MW in 18 days

Efemena Sowho



buhariii - Nigeria's power supply crashes by 1,297 MW in 18 days

Power generation in Nigeria has crashed by 1,297 megawatts (MW) in 18 days as the dwindling gas supply and water level worsened the crisis rocking the sector.

This came as the 11 Dis-tribution Companies (DISCOs) have begun shedding of 2.662MW available for over six million customers in their networks.

The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) confirmed the drop in power yesterday, maintaining that the power generation dropped to 2,662 megawatts on January 22.

It stood at 3,959 MW on January 4. A sub agency of TCN, Nigerian Electricity System Operator (SO), dis-closed the figure in its daily forecast on power generation data posted on its website yesterday.

The drop in power generation, the agency said, was due to low water levels at the hydro power stations and dearth of gas to the power generating companies.

The total output of 2,662.20 megawatts from all the generation companies yesterday had, according to the TCN, been transferred to the 11 distribution companies across the country.

“We have to fall back on load shedding to accommodate the little power transmitted to us from the TCN,” Head of media and communications at one of the 11 DISCOs told New Telegraph.

The power sector, according to the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) operational report for January 4, hit a peak generation of 4,959 megawatts, but dropped to 2,662.20 megawatts on January 22. The sector, NESI added, recorded highest system frequency of 51.32Hz and lowest system frequency of 48.52 Hz, while the highest and the lowest voltage recorded yesterday were 372KV and 300KV, respectively.

Egbin Power Station, biggest thermal power plant in Nigeria with a capacity of 1,320 megawatts, checks by this newspaper showed, now generates 340 megawatts due to gas constraint.

The 340 megawatts Egbin generated was wheeled out to the national grid at 6a.m. yesterday. It would be recalled that the gas constraints led to the shutdown of seven power plants across the country last week, a situation that led to a total electricity load loss of 1,899.7 megawatts.

Four plants belonging to the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP), the latest industry data on sector reforms/activities showed were shut, while others have remained non-functional for some days.

The report, seen last weekend, indicated that a partial system collapse occurred on January 12 this year, adding that the system frequency dropped by eight hertz on the same day. “Partial collapse occurred on January 12, 2017. At 8:41 hours, system frequency dropped from 51Hz to 43Hz. Lagos, Osogbo, Jebba, Kainji and Shiroro lost supply, while other areas survived.

The total load loss was 1,899.7MW. “As of 6a.m. on January 13, the following plants were still shut down: Geregu NIPP and Sapele NIPP, in addition to the plants previously reported as shut down. Plants previously reported as shut down include Alaoji NIPP, Ihovbor NIPP and Gbarain.

“The following plants lost turbine functionality as of 6a.m. on January 13, 2017: Okpai (GT11, out due to flame monitor problem; the ST18, out due to hydraulic valve problem) and Olorunsogo I (GT2,out since partial collapse on January 10, 2017).”

The report further stated that on January 13, the average power sent out was 2,944MW-hour/ hour, up by 165MWh/h, adding that the gas constraints accounted for 2,680MW, while grid and water management constraints were both zero megawatt.

“The power sector lost an estimated N1.358 billion on January 13 due to the constraints,” the report noted. Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, had, on Friday, hinted that the sabotage of power assets by militants affected gas supply to thermal plants and prevented Nigeria from generating 7,000 MW of electricity.

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