By Chineme Okafor
Despite the claim by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) that gas shortage to power generating plants would only last for 10 days from March 8, THISDAY finding has shown that the crisis is still lingering.
Consequently, the volume of electricity allocated to the 11 distribution companies (Discos) from the national grid last week dropped to 3,899 megawatts (MW) from the previous week of 4,139MW.
The power production and distribution statistics obtained from the Advisory Power Team in the Office of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, which THISDAY reviewed, covered a period of two weeks starting from March 14 to 27.
It showed that between March 14 and 20, the average volume of electricity sent to homes and offices in the country was 4,139MW, while constrained volume was 4,069MW.
Within that week, the country’s power sector lost N13.6 billion with a shortage of gas supply to generation companies (Gencos) blamed for the low generation figure.
Between March 21 and 27, the figure for the volume of power distributed dropped to 3,899MW while constrained volume increased to 4,646MW. The financial costs of the decline also rose to N15.6 billion.
According to the data, 13 Gencos had gas supply shortages, which affected their production capacities between March 21 and 27.
The affected Gencos were Azura-Edo, which lost an average of 153MW; Calabar NIPP – 126.5MW; Delta (Transcorp) – 162.5MW; Alaoji – 126.5MW; Okpai – 219MW; Geregu NIPP – 504MW; Geregu – 385MW; Rivers – 180MW; Omotosho – 210MW and Afam – 217MW.
Others were Sapele, which lost an average of 379.5MW within the covered week; Omotosho NIPP, which could not produce 506MW and Ihovbor plant, which also failed to produce 506MW.
On a day-to-day basis, the statistics showed that on March 21, the ensuing shortage of gas led to the loss of 3,568MW of electricity; on March 22; it rose to 4,024.5MW and remained at the same level on March 23 before dropping to 3,934.5MW where it remained on March 25.
The figure for the constrained volumes, however, went up to 4,099.5MW on March 26 and further to 4,144.5MW on 27.
“On March 27, 2020, average energy sent out was 3,906MWH/Hour (down by 67.42MW from the previous day). 4,144.5MW was not generated due to the unavailability of gas. 211.1MW was not generated due to high frequency resulting from the unavailability of distribution infrastructure. The power sector lost an estimated N2,091,000,000 on March 27, 2020, due to constraints from the insufficient gas supply, distribution infrastructure, and transmission infrastructure,” Osinbajo’s office said.
TCN had on March 8 reported a decline in gas supply to some Gencos, which it said would last for 10 days.
With the gas supply situation at the weekend, the gas shortage has lasted more than the projected 10 days.
The affected Gencos were Sapele NIPP, Olorunsogo NIPP, Ihovbor NIPP, and Azura Edo power plants, which generated zero megawatt of electricity during the period.
“Other thermal power plants equally affected but which generated lower capacities include Egbin (Steam), Sapele (Steam), Delta (gas), Geregu (gas), Omotosho (gas), Olorusogo (gas), Geregu NIPP, Alaoji NIPP, Omotosho NIPP, Odukpani NIPP, Okpai (Gas/Steam) and Omoku (gas) power generating plants,” TCN said.