02-06-2016 Power Generation Rebounds To 2,820mw
Annan laments effects on GDP
Nigeria’s electricity generation has inched up to 2,820 megawatts (mw) from the 1,400mw recorded last week. The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), which made this disclosure in its daily operation report released on Tuesday, put the country’s peak demand forecast at 17,720mw. TCN, while also putting installed electricity generation capacity at 11,165mw, noted that the country has only been able to generate 5,500mw of power in February, which remained the highest since 2014.
According to the statement released TCN and signed by the Asst. General Manager (Public Affairs), Clement Ezeolisah, the downward trend of electricity generation was due to constraints in the thermal power stations, which have prevented the generators from producing at optimal levels. Corroborating TCN, the Federal Ministry of Power stated in its energy generation report released on Monday that out of the total energy generated, the country was only able to send out 2,529.88mw.
The country’s electricity generation has failed to peak since privatisation, leading to over reliance on generators. The nation generates most of its electricity from gas-fired power plants, while output from hydro-power plants make up about 30 per cent of total generation. Electricity supply to households and businesses across the country has worsened in recent weeks on the back of renewed attacks on oil and gas installations in the Niger Delta by militants. Nigeria attained a new record peak generation of 5,074.7MW and highest maximum daily energy wheeled nationwide of 109,372MWH in February, 2016.
Throwing more light on the country’s electricity generation profile, Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), in its latest energy watch listed the constraints to regular power output to include gas, line limitation and water management. The gas constraint remained the highest power generation challenge in the country, leading to a shortfall of 3,568mw of electricity as at May 22.
NERC put the total energy constrained on May 16 at 4,904mw; May 17, 5,666mw; May 18, 4,265mw and May 22, 4,497mw. Thirteen power plants have been struggling with gas constraints, including five that were built under the National Integrated Power Project, which was conceived in 2005. Olorunsogo’s unutilised generation capacity was put at about 480MW; 355MW of Geregu’s capacity has also been idle; Omotosho is struggling to generate any megawatts from its 360MW actual capacity; Sapele’s unutilised capacity was about 337.5MW, and Ihovbor’s 277.4MW has not in use.
Others with unutilised generation capacity due to gas constraints were Omotosho I (228MW); Delta Gas (220MW); Olorunsogo I (266MW); Sapele I (110MW); Egbin (816MW); Rivers IPP (160MW); Trans-Amadi (20MW) and Geregu I (54MW). Three power plants, namely Odukpani, Trans-Amadi and Omoku in Rivers State were constrained by line problems/rejection by Discos, while Jebba and Shiroro’s 470MW capacity were unused due to water management/maintenance.
Speaking on Africa energy deficit at the African Development Bank’s yearly meeting in Lusaka, Zambia, Chair of the Africa Progress Panel, Kofi Annan, said that Africa energy sector bottlenecks and power shortages cost the region two to four per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) yearly. He said that this situation also consistently undermines efforts to promote growth and create jobs, at a time when the continent faces a huge youth bulge with millions entering the job market every year.
Annan, a former Secretary-General of the United Nations, stressed the need for African governments to create the right policies and enabling environment that would lead to regular electricity.