Drop in electricity generation worries power investors

Chinedu-Nebo-Minister-of-Power-300x200The persistent drop in electricity generation in the country is a threat to the early completion of the privatisation of the power sector, the preferred bidders of the power distribution companies have said.

Our correspondent gathered on Wednesday that the nation was currently generating 2,919 megawatts of electricity.

The preferred bidders wondered why the poor power supply situation had dragged on for four days after the country recorded an abrupt fall in generation on Saturday.

Sunday PUNCH had reported that the total volume of electricity generated as of 6am last Saturday was 2,628.6MW.

This indicates a sharp drop from the little above 4,000MW, which the Federal Government had recently announced as the maximum generated power.

A senior official of one of the 10 preferred bidders of the electricity distribution companies told our correspondent that the purpose of privatisation would be defeated if power generation did not improve.

According to the source, the preferred bidders of the Discos saw the drop in power generation, as announced by the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, last Saturday, as worrisome.

The source, who pleaded not to be named because of the sensitive nature of the subject said, “This is worrisome; and, of course, it is a threat to the privatisation programme. We hope the government gets the generation right because we can only distribute what we get as generated power.

“The various Discos have their respective markets that can buy all the units, which they can distribute. But once we don’t have enough power generation, it means they (Discos) cannot meet their customers’ demands, and this will not impact well on the system.”

Nebo had said the drop in generated electricity was as a result of severe leaks in the supply of gas to some strategic power plants across the country.

He attributed the drop to low gas supply to the generation plants, especially in the eastern part of the country.

The minister said three power stations in the region, the Afam IV, Afam VI and Rivers Independent Power Plant, were shut down on Friday night as a result of gas constraints arising from condensate issue on the Trans National Pipeline.

This, he said, had put the total generation loss from the stations at 624MW.

Nebo had stated that the Olorunsogo power station was also down due to low gas pressure, and as a result, 89MW of electricity was lost.

When our correspondent contacted the Federal Ministry of Power, it was learnt that the government had deployed engineers to work on the faulty gas pipelines that led to the drastic drop in electricity generation.

A senior official at the ministry said the government had drafted men to the locations where the gas pipelines were.

The source said, “Power generation is 2, 919MW and engineers have been sent to work on the gas pipelines. I can confirm to you that they are working there very well as we speak.”

 

Information from Punch was used in this report.

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