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Electricity supply drops to 3,800MW

By on April 4, 2017

After what seems like an improvement in power generation in recent weeks, supply dropped to an average of 3,800 megawatts yesterday, THISDAY’s investigation has revealed.

Before yesterday’s drop, average daily supply had exceeded 4,000 megawatts, with daily peak generation hitting 4,452 megawatts on March 23.

The daily operational report of the power sector showed that peak generation was 4,199.50 megawatts on March 30 and 4,244.70 on March 31.

However, on April 1, the situation worsened as peak generation was 3,995.60 while 3,491.40 was the lowest generation, according to the operational report.

The situation showed no significant improvement yesterday as an average of 3,800 megawatts was allocated to the 11 distribution companies, while 3,897.40 megawatts was sent to the grid by 06 a.m. yesterday, according to data by the Nigeria Electricity System Operator, an arm of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

As power generation continues the cyclic rise and drop, the generation and distribution companies (DISCOS) have blamed poor supply on gas shortages and grid instability caused by weak transmission infrastructure; the 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 (Gencos) 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.

The Managing Director of Egbin Power Plc, Mr. Dallas Peavey, had reportedly 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 recently 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 another challenge 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.