Transmission System Stability Not Guaranteed Below 3,000MW, Says TCN


Blames frequent collapse on gas shortages

By Ejiofor Alike

The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has stated that the stability of the transmission network cannot be guaranteed whenever power generation drops below 3,000 megawatts.

Speaking in Lagos when the House of Representatives Committee on Power and the management of Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) met with the customers of the distribution company to listen to their grievances at the weekend, the Managing Director of TCN, Mr. Abubakar Tambuwal Atiku, blamed frequent systeam collapses on inadequate gas supply to the generating plants.

According to the daily operational report of the TCN, power supply averaged 2,850 megawatts on Friday, with 3,163.20 MW as peak generation and 2,364.70 MW as the lowest generation.

The report showed that peak generation last Thursday was 3,156.9 MW and 2,808MW was the lowest generation.

On Saturday, generation averaged 2,980MW with 3,138.8MW as the peak, while 2,947.8MW was the lowest generation.

Also, generation as at 6p.m. yesterday was 3,172.70MW, according to the TCN.

The transmission network has recorded over 20 system collapse in 2016, which were largely blamed on weak transmission network, which is regarded as the weakest link in the electricity value chain.

 But Atiku argued that the system is susceptible to collapse whenever generation is below 3,000MW, adding that the current 20-30MW spinning reserves is not enough to save the system from collapse whenever up to 300MW is suddenly lost by the grid.

He insisted that the transmission network has a capacity to wheel 7,000MW, stressing that gas shortages have made it difficult for generation to improve.

According to him, the TCN has about 130 projects, which have been ongoing since 2012.

“Generation is about 3,000-3,200MW because of the issue of gas. As at yesterday, only one unit was generating 170MW at Egbin Power Station. Once we are generating below 3,000MW, nobody can guarantee system stability,” Atiku explained.

Speaking at the event, the Chairman of the House Committee, Hon. Dan Asuquo, said the visit was part of the oversight function of the National Assembly, adding that it would be a quarterly event.

“For us, it is a service we are happy to do. It is a medium to create some kind of sustainable confidence. For us, it is also an opportunity to show that the members of the National Assembly are working,” he said.

Asuquo further stated that the power sector is a very important sector to the country, especially at this period of recession, adding that the only thing that can drive the country out of the present recession is electricity.

He promised that the National Assembly would look critically at the 2017 budget submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“We will remove anything that looks like vague promise. The issue of saying that the National Assembly is delaying the budget can’t work. That blackmail has failed,” he added.

Earlier in his presentation, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Eko Disco, Mr.Oladele Amoda, identified some of the challenges facing the company to include: inadequate power from the grid resulting in massive load shedding; customer apathy towards payment for energy consumed; absence of enabling law to prosecute vandalism; and absence of cost-reflective tariffs.