Low power generation, population explosion, lack of maintenance, low transmission, obsolete equipment, lack of meters, haphazard business models, vandalism and low funding have been identified as major factors for epileptic electricity supply in the nation.
The Managing Director of Egbin Power Plc, Mr. Mike Uzoigwe, who disclosed the factors, said the nation was generating below its over 4,000 megawatts because of these and other challenges. According to him, “The government could not fund mandatory inspections and overhauls of generating plants.”
Most of our power stations are gas turbines plants. This type runs at speeds beyond 5000RPM and act thousand degrees centigrade temperature.
He said, “If you visit Delta, Sapele or Afam power stations, you will notice several gas turbines lying idle. About three of them installed at Ijora power station by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s first regime to supply power to Dodan barracks are also laying waste. Uzogiwe who spoke at a public lecture yesterday in Lagos said Kainji Dam Power station, which has an installed capacity of 760mw presently has more than nine of its units down on various faults with only 120mw available.
He said, “Other earlier power stations have been decommissioned and do not produce power anymore. Calabar power station is decommissioned, same as Oji and all later installed power stations at Ijora-Lagos. Uzogiwe said of the six units of 120 mw each originally installed at Sapele power station, only one remains available and can generate or is available for a maximum of 90mw.
He said, “The Egbin power plant installed about 30 years ago is the only plant that is still showing good signs with an initial installed capacity of 1,320mw it has managed to remain available for 1,080mw as at today.
Uzoigwe who decried recent vandalism of gas pipeline that affect supply to power generation said these and other challenges culminated in low reducing the nation’s power per person to about 17.6 watts.
This, he said is lower than what is obtainable in many nations. For instance, he said the United States has 1,402 watts per person while Japan and Australia have 774 watts and 1,114 watts respectively.
He said, “If we represent the real consumable power when our output is 3,000mw, then our power per capita electricity consumption will come as low as about 14 watts, so very poor”. He called on new investors to invest in the sector as they were assured of recovering their investments than in the past. Meanwhile, the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, on Wednesday announced that the nation’s power generation now hovers between 3,800 mega watts and 4,000 mega watts.
TCN General Manager, Public Affairs, Mrs. Seun Olagunju, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in a telephone interview. She said that the restoration of power to 4,000 mega watts followed the repairs of the vandalised pipeline supplying gas to Okpai power plant in Delta State.