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Power cuts worsen as generation drops by 1,598MW

By on June 24, 2013

Power generation in the country dropped by 1,598 megawatts on Sunday, the Transmission Company of Nigeria said.

The company explained that the massive load shedding being experienced nationwide was caused by vandalism of two major gas pipelines supplying gas to eight power generating stations.

The affected stations are Egbin/AES, Olorunsogo, Omotoso, Geregu NIPP, Afam IV and VI as well as River State Independent Power Station, resulting in drastic reduction of power supply.

In a statement signed by the General Manager (Public Affairs), TCN, Mr. Dave Ifabiyi, the company said that one of the vandalised gas pipelines was taking supply from the Okoloma gas plant, while the other was taking from Escravos.

Ifabiyi said, “With the disruption of gas supply through the lines, the Nigerian Gas Company is unable to move gas to Afam IV and Afam VI as well as the Independent Power Plant in Rivers State, resulting in generation loss of 593MW.

“Also, the second vandalised gas pipeline from Escravos to Warri caused a cutback of 1,005MW  in power generation from Egbin/AES power generating station, Olorunsogo, Omotosho and Geregu NIPP power generating plants.”

According to the statement, with the loss of 1,598MW, the total power generation as of 2pm on Sunday is 2,290MW.

With this low level generation, the company said the operation and control of the power system was a major challenge.

TCN said due to the critical importance of the pipelines to power generation, NGC was working seriously to isolate the vandalised portions of the pipelines in order to effect repairs, with the hope that gas supply could be restored to the affected generating stations soonest.

The company said it deeply regretted inconveniences the attendant load shedding was causing Nigerians nationwide.

Apart from gas supply shortage, the worsening power supply situation in the country had in recent times been blamed on frequent collapse of the generation and transmission systems.

Contrary to the claims in government quarters that the country was generating at least 4,500MW of electricity daily, it was gathered that the figure was significantly lower than that.

PHCN statistics showed that the last time the country generated 4,500MW of electricity was on December 23, 2012.

This means that all the power generation plants in the country have not generated up to 4,000MW since January 2013 due to consistent system collapse.

For instance, power generation had dropped to 3,118.4MW on June 16, 2013, though the peak demand forecast as of that day was 12,800MW.

This was 1,370MW lower than the highest peak generation of 4,517.6MW achieved on Sunday, December 23, 2012.

Generation picked up again on Monday, June 17, 2013 to 3,720.50MW, but dropped to 3,507.90MW the following day.

The country had, in the past five months, recorded more than 15 power system collapses.

“The high rate of system collapse in recent time, which has given rise to more than 15 collapses in the last five months, calls for a critical look,” the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, said recently.

In view of this, the minister set up a 13-member Technical Investigative Panel on System Collapse to find the causes of the incessant collapse of electricity infrastructure across the country.

The country recorded a total of 24 system failures in 2012, with 15 being total and nine partial system collapses. It recorded 39 and 42 system failures in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

Power generation had dropped by 31,529MW in April, which was 33.9 per cent of the 4,517MW attained on December 21, 2012.

The Ministry of Power had attributed the sharp drop in supply to general system collapse.

Power generation had experienced a downward trend since December 17, 2012 when it dropped to 4,349.7MW amid fluctuating figures, finally declining to 2,987.6 on April 6, 2013.