Energy Crisis: Power generation drops 68% to 1,152MW

Power generation to the National Grid continued to struggle yesterday with 10 power plants generating 1,155.70 Mega Watts as at 2.00pm.

The power on the grid was a 68.42 percent drop from the 3,658.80MW peak generation recorded on Sunday.

Data on the Independent System Operator (ISO) portal, a semi-autonomous unit at the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), showed that Egbin Power generating at 305MW and Omotosho NIPP 207.20MW were the leading plants on the grid.

Other plants on the national grid were Afam V & V at 58MW, Afam VI at 134MW, Ihovbor NIPP at 99.10MW, Olorunsogo (Gas) at 121MW, Omoku (Gas) at 45.20MW, Paras Energy at 48.40MW, Sapele (Steam) at 52MW, and Trans-Amadi at 85.80MW.

The national grid collapse that occurred last Friday which triggered the current poor power supply was the third in a month despite Federal Government assurances that it was working to make the system stable. The grid is managed by government owned TCN.

Speaking on the transmission challenges faced by the sector, the President of Nigerian Institute of Power Engineers (NIPE), Engr. Israel Abraham said the grid network needs to be fully automated.

He noted that most equipment and spare parts needed in the sector are all imported, making repairs and maintenance very difficult.
Other challenges, he stated are: “Inadequate materials for maintenance due to lack of local production of these materials and hence having to source foreign exchange to procure these materials and Inadequate workshops for repairs and again low utilization/patronage of existing workshops by TCN.

“Limited network automation systems; this renders the grid operations extremely cumbersome. (No effective SCADA system). Most power equipment are obsolete, low in capacity and therefore require urgent upgrade, more frequent maintenance and replacement. TCN has no financial muscle to carry these out regularly. This situation is further exacerbated by the security situation in the country.

“There is no accurate data on load demand for adequate planning. There are funding constraints in expanding the transmission network, and the expansion works are financed with foreign loans and grants that take a long time to materialise, and interfaces between TCN-GenCos-DisCos-NBET are poor”.

Engr. Abraham urged the government to introduce a National Integrated Expansion and Maintenance Planning Coordination Centre for Power Generation Plants and Gas Suppliers nationwide.

“This will ensure that a minimum level of power is available on the grid at all times. In accordance with the Grid Code, the System Operator, under the supervision of the Regulator should be mandated to co-ordinate GenCos and TCN expansion and maintenance program to ensure that there is a time during the year minimum of say 6,000MW of Generated power and TCN wheeling capacity”, he explained.

Speaking on the impact of poor electricity supply on consumers, the President of Electricity Consumers Association of Nigeria (ECAN), Barr. Chijioke James said it was obvious that the power sector privatization exercise has failed.

According to him, “private owners have shown that they are not better than the government in managing the sector. If anything has changed it is the fact that consumers are now paying more for electricity they did not consume. We have told the government that the policy needs to change for things to be better”.

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