By Emmanuel Addeh
Despite the underperformance of the power sector since privatisation in 2013, Electricity Generation Companies (Gencos) in the country said they have succeeded in achieving a 93 per cent increase in generation in the past seven years.
In the biannual magazine published by the umbrella body of the Gencos, the Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC), the power generators, however decried the inability of the other actors in the value chain to effectively play their part to ensure evacuation of available power.
The generating companies bemoaned the lack of infrastructure in the value chain to evacuate all the power being generated , explaining that the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and Distribution Companies (Discos) do not have the capacity to cope with the expanding generation capability of the Gencos.
“The supply growth from the takeover date of 1st November, 2013, to date shows that available generation capacity which was 4,214.32MW has increased by 93.27 per cent to 8,145MW (as Gencos recovered 3,930.68MW).
“However, due to system constraints, generated power is rejected or forced to be reduced to match the infrastructure that transmits and distributes this power to the customer.
“A case in point in quarter 1, 2020 when despite an available generation capability of 8,145MW, Gencos were only allowed to generate 3,987MW, thus losing an average of 4,159MW daily,” the APGC lamented.
It said that it was imperative to note that the wellbeing of a power generation company goes beyond efficient operations to include its ability to generate income from power generated.
“With a total available installed generation capacity of more than 7,500MW and maximum wheeling capacity of not more than 5,500MW, there will always be a recurring instance of about 2,000MW idle generation.
“Idle generation represents capital investment not able to yield revenue that will hence impact the ability of the Gencos to support efficient operations and service loans used in developing the power plants,” said the Gencos.
They stated that out of the meagre 5,500MW of transmission wheeling capacity, the Discos have not proven to be able to distribute more than 4, 500MW, continuously leaving yet another 1,000MW of generation capacity unutilised.
The Gencos added: “In total, due to the combined technical incapacitation of TCN and the Discos, the Gencos are unable to deploy a total of 3,000MW of capacity that would ensure sustainable profitable operations.
“If one considers the fact that the Discos have in the recent past been operating around 3.500MW or below this figure, it escalates to 4, 000MW of idle capacity. In effect, the Gencos are not able to deploy a total of 4,000MW of idle power and out of the 5,000MW wheeled by TCN.”