Power sec­tor loses N355bn

Business a.m. - - FRONT PAGE - Sto­ries by Bukola Od­u­fade

NIGE­RIA’S VAST GAS re­serves of over 192 tril­lion stan­dard cu­bic feet (tscf ) are still un­able to suf­fi­ciently meet the en­ergy needs of its cit­i­zens as power plants still lack ad­e­quate gas to run tur­bines, giv­ing rise to an es­ti­mated N355.502 bil­lion loss in

NIGE­RIA’S VAST GAS re­serves of over 192 tril­lion stan­dard cu­bic feet (tscf) are still un­able to suf­fi­ciently meet the en­ergy needs of its cit­i­zens as power plants still lack ad­e­quate gas to run tur­bines, giv­ing rise to an es­ti­mated N355.502 bil­lion loss in rev­enue in 11 months.

Ac­cord­ing to data ob­tained by busi­ness a.m. from Nige­rian Elec­tric­ity Sup­ply In­dus­try Sta­tis­tics (NESISTATS), the short­age of gas, grid un­re­li­a­bil­ity and dis­tri­bu­tion lim­i­ta­tions lim­ited the av­er­age vol­ume of elec­tric­ity gen­er­ated and dis­trib­uted daily to Nige­rian homes and of­fices to 3780 megawatts (MW) per day, while an av­er­age of 3041 megawatts (MW) were con­strained from get­ting to con­sumers by these lim­i­ta­tions.

NESI, which put the av­er­age daily rev­enue loss at N1.1 bil­lion, said gas con­straint re­mained one of the ma­jor chal­lenges fac­ing the elec­tric­ity sec­tor.

The power sec­tor is find­ing it dif­fi­cult to ac­cess more loans from Nige­rian banks due to their in­abil­ity to meet the pay­ment obli­ga­tions for pre­vi­ous debts.

The sit­u­a­tion will also af­fect the ca­pac­ity of the power firms to im­prove on elec- tric­ity sup­ply to con­sumers for do­mes­tic and in­dus­trial uses.

Sta­tis­tics from NESI showed that Afam VI, Geregu NIPP, Alaoji Na­tional In­te­grated Power Project (NIPP), Olorun­sogo Gas, Oduk­pani NIPP, Ok­pai, Ibom Power, Omo­to­sho NIPP, Ihov­bor NIPP, Rivers NIPP and Gbarain power plants all had gas con­straints, in the pe­riod un­der re­view.

On an­other hand, the na­tion’s power grid also suf­fered a to­tal col­lapse on De­cem­ber 21, for the first time in three months, in­creas­ing the num­ber of col­lapses repar­tial so far this year to 12, though one was par­tial while the rest were to­tal.

The to­tal col­lapses oc­curred in Jan­uary (five), Fe­bru­ary (one), June (one), July (one), Septem­ber (two) and De­cem­ber (one), while one par­tial col­lapse was recorded in April.

The grid has con­tin­ued to suf­fer sys­tem col­lapse over the years amid a lack of spin­ning re­serve that is meant to fore­stall such oc­cur­rences, and ac­cord­ing to the Nige­rian Elec­tric­ity Reg­u­la­tory Com­mis­sion (NERC), a to­tal sys­tem col­lapse means to­tal black­out na­tion­wide, while sys­tem col­lapse is a fail­ure of a sec­tion of the grid.

The coun­try cur­rently gen­er­ates most of its elec­tric­ity from gas-fired power plants, while the out­put from hy­dropower plants makes up about 30 per­cent of the to­tal. NERC, in its lat­est quar­terly re­port, had said the power sec­tor recorded a sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment in the sta­bil­ity of the grid net­work dur­ing the sec­ond quar­ter of this year.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, the im­prove­ment in the grid sta­bil­ity achieved in the quar­ter was at­trib­uted to the com­mis­sion’s and the coun­try’s trans­mis­sion com­pany, Trans­mis­sion Com­pany of Nige­ria (TCN) com­mit­ment to en­sur­ing stable elec­tric­ity sup­ply.

It said that “this is done through tighter en­force­ment and ad­her­ence to the pro­vi­sions of the grid code which man­dates free gover­nor con­trol at grid-con­nected power plants.

The com­mis­sion also re­it­er­ated its com­mit­ment to in­crease grid sta­bil­ity through “mon­i­tor­ing and su­per­vi­sion ef­forts in or­der to en­sure strict com­pli­ance to the com­mis­sion’s di­rec­tives that gen­er­a­tors should be on free gover­nor and fre­quency con­trol mode in line with the pro­vi­sions of the sub­sist­ing rules in the in­dus­try.”

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