Gas Constraint Stalls Generation Of 29,219MW Electricity
Posted: 21/Oct/2019

A total of 29,219 megawatts of electricity could not be generated on the national grid between October 1 and October 17, 2019 as a result unavailability of gas to power plants.

Findings showed that gas supply challenge was one of the major factors inhibiting the generation of electricity in Nigeria, particularly from thermal power generation plants.

Over 70 per cent of Nigeria’s electricity comes from thermal power plants, and these plants require gas to function optimally in the generation of electricity.

Our correspondent gathered on Friday in Abuja that the limited gas supply to gas-fired power generation stations in October alone stalled the generation of over 29,000MW of electricity in the first 17 days of the month.

Latest figures obtained from the Advisory Power Team in the Office of the Vice President showed that from the first day of this month, the country kept losing power due to gas supply challenges.

Specifically, on October 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, the unavailability of gas supply to thermal power plants stalled the generation of 2,157.5MW, 2,031MW, 2,238MW, 2,073MW, 1,878MW and 1,878MW, respectively.

Also on October 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12, the quantum of power that could not be generated on the grid as a result of gas supply challenges was 1,626MW, 1,846MW, 1,846MW, 1,635.5MW, 1,762MW, and 1,862MW, respectively.

For October 13,14,15,16 and 17, gas unavailability stopped the generation of 1,726MW, 1,635.5MW, 1,677.5MW, 1,551MW and 1,674MW, respectively.

The Executive Secretary, Association of Power Generation Companies, the umbrella body for the Gencos, Joy Ogaji, told our correspondent that gas supply challenges were due to the inability of Gencos to adequately pay for the commodity.

She explained that there was no incentive for power generators to increase output from their plants.

The Gencos said their total generation capacity rose to 7,383.04MW in 2018 from 4,214.32MW in 2013, when the power sector was privatised by the Federal Government.

Ogaji also noted that the limitation of the transmission and distribution networks coupled with the lack of payments to Gencos was a drag on increased generation.

She said, “From 2013, the power taken did not change at all. It was just hovering around 3,000MW until it rose to 4,000MW in some days, out of over 7,000MW of available generation capacity. And who pays for the difference?”

The Gencos spokesperson told our correspondent that the non-payment for generated energy was hampering the ability of the Gencos to pay for gas, which was why a large volume of power was stalled from being generated daily.

The power sector has also been losing billions of naira as a result gas supply constraint, among others.

On October 10, 2019, between January and September this year, the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry lost an estimated N472.23bn.

The daily reports of the country’s power sector performance showed that the industry had been losing between N1.5bn and N2bn every day.

In the reports put together by the APT team, it was stated that from January 2019 to 11.51pm on September 10, the sector recorded a revenue loss of N472.23bn, while a total of 3,236 megawatts-hour/hour of energy was constrained during this period.