Nigeria’s electricity grid lost out 2,239 megawatts (mw) of supply after 45 turbines were shut down due to gas supply constraints and other technical issues last Tuesday, shortly after the public holidays.
The electricity industry statistics obtained by the Daily Trust yesterday showed that 68 hydro, steam and gas power turbines were actually available and could have generated 6,376mw but only 45 functioned that day, generating 3,639mw.
While 91,419 megawatt hour (mwh) was generated, 90,057mwh was transmitted to the 11 DisCos for supply to end users (customers). The balance of 1,362mw was lost in the transmission process, the data indicated.
Among the 28 power plants in the country, three are hydros, two are steam powered, and 23 others largely rely on gas energy. While 20 of the plants were active, eight others were out of operation. The affected plants include Sapele Power (steam), Afam IV-V, ASCO, and A.E.S. The others were Rivers Independent Power Plant (IPP), Alaoji National Integrated Power Plant (NIPP), and Gbarain NIPP.
The breakdown of power loss shows that gas constraint accounted for the entire 2,239mw loss which occurred at nine power plants. The biggest loser was Egbin Power as three of its turbines were down, losing 490mw; it has a capacity of 660mw.
Delta Power which could have generated 560mw, lost 235mw due to 11 idle turbines; Olorunsogo Gas had two idle turbines and lost out 76mw while Omotosho Gas also lost 76mw with two idle turbines. This accounts for a loss of 877mw.
The balance of 1,362mw of electricity loss occurred at four NIPP plants. Analysis shows that Olorunsogo NIPP lost 360mw resulting from three idle gas turbines; Alaoji NIPP also lost 360mw from three turbines. While Geregu NIPP lost 290mw from two turbines, Ihovbor NIPP lost 112mw from a turbine, and Omotosho NIPP lost 240mw from two turbines.
Further analysis shows that Kainji and Jebba hydros had four and two turbines on maintenance; Shiroro hydro only operated two turbines as three others went out.
Egbin steam power operated only one turbine as four others were out due to gas constraint; Sapele power (steam) was out completely.
Alaoji and Gbarain NIPP were out of operation that day. It was learnt that the strike action by the contractor workers of Gbarain led to the shutdown.
Our reporter observed that gas supply constraint has been a protracted bane to the adequate supply of electricity to Nigerians. Operators and experts in the sector have largely attributed this to the liquidity crisis in the power sector that has rendered the Generation Companies (GenCos) unable to pay for more gas.
A contractual gas supply schedule for 13 power plants obtained by our reporter showed a huge operational deficiency in the plants’ capacity. The annual gas supply quantity contract of 2,671 million standard cubic feet (mmscf) for the 13 plants only generated 2,921mw.
However, the plants have capacity to generate 9,084mw; this leaves a huge difference of 6,163mw. It was learnt that 1mmscf can generate 3.75mw of electricity, indicating that showing that 779mmscf was used for the day.
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