By Ejiofor Alike
Despite nationwide system failure on Christmas Eve, there appears to be sustainability in the current improvement in power supply as generation stabilised at 4,356.9 megawatts of electricity at the weekend, THISDAY has gathered.
Sources said the new energy peak attained was due to improved gas supply to Egbin Power Station in Lagos; Afam V1 in Rivers State; Geregu in Kogi State and Okpai in Delta State.
According to data obtained by THISDAY from the National Control Centre (NCC), Osogbo, Osun State, Shiroro and Jebba hydro power stations also recorded improved performance due to improved management of the water.
The 1,320 megawatt-capacity Egbin plant, which is the biggest power generating station in the country generated 978mw at the weekend, with most of the six units running.
The Afam V1 combined cycle power plant built by Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) Limited joint venture in Okoloma village in Oyibo Local Government Area of Rivers State also generated 499megawatts during the weekend.
Afam V1 had achieved a milestone in May 2012, when it delivered about 10 trillion watt-hour (TWh), of electricity into the National grid.
Geregu plant generated 354 megawatts; while Okpai plant operated by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) generated 430 megawatts of electricity, the data revealed.
Shiroro hydro station and Jebba hydro plant contributed 371 megawatts and 335 megawatts, respectively.
Explaining the current improvement in power supply, the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Power (PTFP), Mr. Becks Dagogo-Jacks said recently that the recent milestones were the tangible signs of progress and effectiveness of the power reform agenda.
"I see this milestone as a product of the co-operation and concerted efforts of the power grid operators. The Task Force will continue to monitor and facilitate their progress and activities," he said.
However, the 4,356.9megawatts peak is still a far cry from the 6,000mw target the federal government had envisaged at the beginning of the year.
With improved gas supply and better management of water, the country had attained a new energy peak of 97,749.11 megawatt hour, representing about 4,000 megawatts on December 4, 2012.
The previous energy peak, it was learnt, was 96,768.53 megawatt hour, recorded on August 31, 2012.
Unveiling federal government’s plans at the Nigeria Power Sector Retreat held in Abuja at the beginning of this year, the former Minister of Power, Professor Barth Nnaji stated that power generation would hit over 6,000 megawatts by the end of this year.
He however noted that the only challenge that could hinder the realisation of the target was non-availability of gas.
"If the gas is available we will be generating 5,600mw today. And we expect to add at least a thousand megawatts to the grid. That brings us to over 6,000megawatts," he said.