By Emmanuel Addeh
A new gas supply agreement among the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), power Generation Companies (Gencos) and other major stakeholders may see the federal government sustaining the current peak performance by the sector, THISDAY learnt at the weekend.
Since the deal, which saw the NNPC paying about N220 billion to the gas suppliers, which the Minister of Power, Mr. Saleh Mamman, said was to ensure consistent supply of gas to the power plants in the next three months, power generation has peaked consistently.
Last Wednesday, following the new development, for the first time ever, the country recorded a daily energy generation output of 111,591.83MWH of electricity, exceeding the existing record generation by about 507.22MWH more than any previous level.
On Friday, a new daily peak was achieved when the megawatts per hour hit 112,448.81MWH, exceeding the peak generation 48 hours before by about 856.98 MWH.
The National Control Centre (NCC) Osogbo said the new daily energy peak of 112,448.81MWH, which was achieved on April 17, was higher than the previous maximum value achieved on April 15 by 856.98 MWH.
The peak generation for the period was 5,210.50MW while the lowest generation was 4,101.70MW.
“It is really unprecedented – the performance of the sector continues to improve in spite of the COVID-19 lockdown. The new peak is also happening two days after the previous maximum daily energy peak,” General Manager , Public Affairs, TCN, Mrs Ndidi Mbah, said.
Mbah told THISDAY that if the trend continues, sustaining the current peak performance would not pose any challenge, stressing that the current consistent gas supply to the generation plants has ensured that some certainty now exists in the industry.
She traced the improvement in power generation to the resolution by the stakeholders to ensure adequate gas supply, noting that all the plants hitherto starved of gas and were not producing power at all had gradually picked up while those that were operating at lower capacities are now in peak performance.
On what is responsible for the improvement, she said: “ Remember the stakeholders had a meeting recently. So, now they are sending more gas to the plants and it has become more consistent.
“Some plants that were not generating at full capacity are now doing so. Even some turbines that were out because of lack of gas are now generating and sending power to the national grid.
“So, it is no longer a matter of having gas in the morning and it is not available in the evening. There’s more consistency now which is really helping.”
Last month, the TCN raised some concerns that power supply in could collapse following the shortage of gas to feed the power plants.
The company noted that Geregu, Sapele and Olorunsogo power stations were generating zero megawatts due to the gas supply challenge while almost all the power stations were faced with severe problems as a result of the shortage of gas.
For instance, the company said Geregu Gas station was generating 0MW against 435MW; Geregu NIPP, generating 81MW with a shortfall of 354MW and Sapele NIPP was generating 0MW against 230MW.
The TCN added that Olorunsogo NIPP was also generating 0MW against 112MW and Olorunsogo gas plant generation was 70.5MW with a shortfall of 195.5MW while the Gbarain plant was generating the same 0MW against 112MW.
Also affected by the gas supply constraint was Omotosho NIPP, which was generating 110MW with a shortfall of 220MW, while Egbin power plant, Alaoji NIPP, Delta, and Okpai were equally affected by the gas shortage.
At the time, Egbin was generating 596MW with a shortfall of 264MW, Delta II-IV gas was generating 306.81MW with a shortfall of 128.19MW and Okpai gas plant had an output of 159MW with a shortfall of 291MW.
Similarly, TCN noted that Rivers IPP, AFAM IV-V and Paras Energy were also generating with a shortfall of 40MW, 60MW, and 30.2MW respectively, while the Azura and Odukpani power plants were the only two thermal power generating stations generating at full capacity into the national grid as of early April.