The Presidential Task Force on Power (PTFP) has said that it was closely following up the shutdown of the Escravos gas plant belonging to Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) on the western gas network to the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) to ensure that the development did not extend beyond the stipulated timeframe.
Chairman of PTFP, Mr. Beks Dagogo-Jack, explained in a statement in Abuja, that the taskforce had also initiated measures to reduce the impact of the partial shutdown of the gas plant on electricity supply across the country.
The gas plant was shut down by CNL on November 26, 2012 as part of an important scheduled interruption to enable it tie in wells and lay pipes for sustainable gas supply to the domestic market and the gas-to-liquid plant.
The partial shutdown was however expected to last for three weeks and would result in the reduction of gas supply by Chevron for electricity generation with a net reduction of about 300 megawatts (MW).
Dagogo-Beks stated in the statement signed by Head of Communication at PTFP, Awele Okigbo, that additional quantity of power from hydro power stations in the country would be added to the grid to cushion the impact of the shortfall on electricity generation.
He said: “I wish to assure Nigerians of efforts to mitigate the impact of this partial and temporary shutdown of a Chevron gas facility which will reduce gas availability for a few weeks.
“We in the PTFP and other relevant government agencies like the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Nigerian Gas Company have put in place measures to minimise the impact of this shutdown.”
Explaining the palliative measures, Dagogo-Jack noted that other gas stations had commenced supplying gas to compensate for the shortfall.
“Oben is currently back in service from maintenance putting 40 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) and increasing; Oredo, newly commissioned, is supplying 65 mmscfd; and there’s an increased production of 30 mmscfd from Utorogu. The outstanding shortfall will constitute a short term challenge but part of it will be augmented from the hydro stations.”
While admitting that the gas supply interruption would impact on electricity supply, the PTFP Chairman further said the impact had been sufficiently mitigated, adding that: “The impact of the gas interruption on electricity supply will be severely curtailed and we expect the supply to normalise with gas supply after the three-week duration of the interruption.”
He also appealed to those responsible for resolving the gas situation at Chevron to ensure that the situation did not linger beyond the stipulated three weeks, saying: “The task force team is on the watch and would like to assure the public that the project owners will be closely monitored to deliver within the committed timelines.”