Isaac Anumihe, (Abuja) and Adewale Sanyaolu
Except urgent steps are taken over the next few days to improve challenges in the power value chain, parts of the country may soon be hit with total blackout as four power plants are now lying idle and generating zero MW of electricity.
The situation may further compound the woes of residents living in states now partially or fully locked down over the dreaded coronavirus.
The four power plants said to be currently generating zero MW of electricity due to gas constaints include Geregu, Sapele, Olorunsogo and Gbarian.
Others working at partial capacity are; Geregu NIPP generating 81 MW with a shortfall of 354MW, Olorunsogo gas plant which is generating 70.5MW with a shortfall of 195.5MW and Omotosho NIPP generating 110MW with a shortfall of 220MW, while Egbin power plant, Alaoji NIPP, Delta, Okpai are equally affected by gas shortage.
Egbin is currently generating 596MW with a short fall of 264MW with Delta II-IV gas generating 306.81MW and recording a shortfall of 128.19MW while Okpai gas plant is generating 159MW having a shortfall of 291MW.
On the other hand, Rivers IPP, AFAM IV-V and Paras Energy are also generating with a shortfall of 40MW, 60MW and 30.2MW respectively. AFAM VI does not have gas supply problem but one of its units is out on fault.
Presently, Azura and Odukpani power plants are the only two thermal power generating stations generating at full capacity into the nations grid.
Reacting to the development, the General Manager, Public Affairs, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Mrs Nididi Mbah, explained that the power sector had in the past weeks continued to experience power supply shortage due to serious gas constraints to most of the nation’s thermal generating stations.
She said with the current situation, a few of the distribution companies that can pick more load are unable to, because what is generated into the grid is what TCN strives to distribute equitably to DisCos nationwide.
She explained further that the TCN had reported the low gas supply to many power plants few weeks ago but the gas shortage has persisted till date.
This, she said has restrained optimal generation into the grid and consequently the quantum of electricity transmitted to distribution load centers.
TCN had in an earlier statement released on March 7, 2020 stated that low gas supply was significantly affecting the quantum of power generated into the grid. It said the poor gas supply challenge has not abated but is getting worse, even after the maintenance of the gas pipelines noting that there is need to urgently address the issue of gas shortage to thermal generating power plants nationwide to avert serious system disturbance.