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Gas Shortage Stalls 23,081MW, Despite Gencos N200bn Fund

The dearth of gas stalled the generation of 23,081.5 megawatts of electricity in eight days despite the N200bn that was paid by the Federal Government recently to the power sector, particularly for settling gas debts.Investigations showed that between April 16 and 23, 2020, gas constraint persisted as the most daily dominant challenge to power generation.Findings revealed that after the government announced on April 15 that it had paid N200bn to the power sector, especially to make gas available, the commodity remained unavailable as required to run gas-fired thermal power plants.The Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari, declared on April 15 that the Federal Government had paid over N200bn for power supply in Nigeria.Kyari disclosed this after a meeting with the Minister of Power, Sale Mamman; Managing Director, Transmission Company of Nigeria, Usman Mohammed; and Managing Director, Niger Delta Power Holding Company, Chiedu Ugbo, among others.Explaining what the government was doing to resolve the non-payment for gas by power generation companies, Kyari said, “Actually, the Federal Government has made payments of over N200bn for power in the last two to three days.“This will go a long way in making sure that those payment issues are resolved. And we are engaging as a government and as a team to make sure that those payment issues are fully settled.”However, data obtained by our correspondent in Abuja on Saturday from the Advisory Power Team in the Office of the Vice President showed that the next day after Kyari’s announcement (April 16, 2020), gas unavailability alone stalled the generation of 3,210MW of power.It was further observed that this persisted for one more week, as gas shortage prevented the generation of 3,168MW, 3,041.5MW and 2,788.5MW on April 17, 18 and 19 respectively.Shortage of gas further stopped the production of 2,708MW, 2,623.5MW, 2,750MW and 2,792MW on April 20, 21, 22 and 23 respectively.Power generation and distribution companies, however, denied knowledge of the N200bn payment to the sector by the Federal Government. They told our correspondent that they did not get the funds.The Executive Secretary, Association of Power Generation Companies, the umbrella body for Gencos, Joy Ogaji, told our correspondent that she was not aware of any N200bn payment.She said, “For the records, Gencos have not received fresh funds from anyone. What Gencos have been paid is the payment for energy produced and consumed for 2019.“Gencos have not received any funds of any nomenclature – palliative, stimulus, coronavirus funds, etc. We are currently being paid for the money owed for 2019. We take exceptions to our name being used to score political points.”Operators in the sector further stated on Saturday that gas shortage remained a stiff challenge to power generation.The APT, for instance, confirmed this as it stated that gas shortage was the most severe constraint to power generation in Nigeria.“The dominant constraint on April 22 was due to unavailability of gas – constraining a total of 2,750MW from being available on the grid,” it stated.Providing further information for the same day, the APT added, “On April 22, average energy sent out was 3,908MWH/Hour (down by 605.7MW from the previous day).“A total of 2,750MW was not generated due to unavailability of gas. A total of 112.5MW was not generated due to unavailability of transmission infrastructure, while 1,525.1MW was not generated due to high frequency resulting from unavailability of distribution infrastructure.”It said 0MW was recorded as losses due to water management.The team stressed that the power sector lost an estimated N2.11bn on April 22 due to constraints from insufficient gas supply, distribution infrastructure and transmission infrastructure.Further findings showed that aside from gas shortage, the lack of transmission and distribution infrastructure stalled the generation of 667.5MW and 9,066.7MW respectively, during the period under review.This therefore indicated that the lack of distribution infrastructure was the second severe constraint to power generation in recent times.The Managing Director, Transmission Company of Nigeria, Usman Mohammed, told our correspondent that power distribution had remained the weakest link in the sector’s value chain.He said, “Distribution is the weakest link in our value chain. If you look at the problem in most other sectors of the industry, it is either these problems are being solved or that they are about to be solved.“As managers of the grid, we are in the middle and so we know the capacity of distribution companies.“As of today, apart from this gas challenge that we are facing, which is being handled, the distribution side is faced with lack of investments and that has been a challenge to effective distribution of electricity across the country.”It was further observed that during the eight-day period of April 16 to 23, the power sector lost N15.75bn as a result of the three major constraints.

The dearth of gas stalled the generation of 23,081.5 megawatts of electricity in eight days despite the N200bn that was paid by the Federal Government recently to the power sector, particularly for settling gas debts.
Investigations showed that between April 16 and 23, 2020, gas constraint persisted as the most daily dominant challenge to power generation.
Findings revealed that after the government announced on April 15 that it had paid N200bn to the power sector, especially to make gas available, the commodity remained unavailable as required to run gas-fired thermal power plants.
The Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari, declared on April 15 that the Federal Government had paid over N200bn for power supply in Nigeria.
Kyari disclosed this after a meeting with the Minister of Power, Sale Mamman; Managing Director, Transmission Company of Nigeria, Usman Mohammed; and Managing Director, Niger Delta Power Holding Company, Chiedu Ugbo, among others.
Explaining what the government was doing to resolve the non-payment for gas by power generation companies, Kyari said, “Actually, the Federal Government has made payments of over N200bn for power in the last two to three days.
“This will go a long way in making sure that those payment issues are resolved. And we are engaging as a government and as a team to make sure that those payment issues are fully settled.”
However, data obtained by our correspondent in Abuja on Saturday from the Advisory Power Team in the Office of the Vice President showed that the next day after Kyari’s announcement (April 16, 2020), gas unavailability alone stalled the generation of 3,210MW of power.
It was further observed that this persisted for one more week, as gas shortage prevented the generation of 3,168MW, 3,041.5MW and 2,788.5MW on April 17, 18 and 19 respectively.
Shortage of gas further stopped the production of 2,708MW, 2,623.5MW, 2,750MW and 2,792MW on April 20, 21, 22 and 23 respectively.
Power generation and distribution companies, however, denied knowledge of the N200bn payment to the sector by the Federal Government. They told our correspondent that they did not get the funds.
The Executive Secretary, Association of Power Generation Companies, the umbrella body for Gencos, Joy Ogaji, told our correspondent that she was not aware of any N200bn payment.
She said, “For the records, Gencos have not received fresh funds from anyone. What Gencos have been paid is the payment for energy produced and consumed for 2019.
“Gencos have not received any funds of any nomenclature – palliative, stimulus, coronavirus funds, etc. We are currently being paid for the money owed for 2019. We take exceptions to our name being used to score political points.”
Operators in the sector further stated on Saturday that gas shortage remained a stiff challenge to power generation.
The APT, for instance, confirmed this as it stated that gas shortage was the most severe constraint to power generation in Nigeria.
“The dominant constraint on April 22 was due to unavailability of gas – constraining a total of 2,750MW from being available on the grid,” it stated.
Providing further information for the same day, the APT added, “On April 22, average energy sent out was 3,908MWH/Hour (down by 605.7MW from the previous day).
“A total of 2,750MW was not generated due to unavailability of gas. A total of 112.5MW was not generated due to unavailability of transmission infrastructure, while 1,525.1MW was not generated due to high frequency resulting from unavailability of distribution infrastructure.”
It said 0MW was recorded as losses due to water management.
The team stressed that the power sector lost an estimated N2.11bn on April 22 due to constraints from insufficient gas supply, distribution infrastructure and transmission infrastructure.
Further findings showed that aside from gas shortage, the lack of transmission and distribution infrastructure stalled the generation of 667.5MW and 9,066.7MW respectively, during the period under review.
This therefore indicated that the lack of distribution infrastructure was the second severe constraint to power generation in recent times.
The Managing Director, Transmission Company of Nigeria, Usman Mohammed, told our correspondent that power distribution had remained the weakest link in the sector’s value chain.
He said, “Distribution is the weakest link in our value chain. If you look at the problem in most other sectors of the industry, it is either these problems are being solved or that they are about to be solved.
“As managers of the grid, we are in the middle and so we know the capacity of distribution companies.
“As of today, apart from this gas challenge that we are facing, which is being handled, the distribution side is faced with lack of investments and that has been a challenge to effective distribution of electricity across the country.”
It was further observed that during the eight-day period of April 16 to 23, the power sector lost N15.75bn as a result of the three major constraints.

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