The domestic supply of gas for the generation of electricity witnessed a decline in several months, a development that dragged down the quantum of power that was generated on the grid.
Latest figures released by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on domestic gas supply to the power sector and generation showed that between March 2018 and January this year, gas supply for the generation of electricity plunged by 97 million standard cubic feet per day.
This prevented a total of 368 megawatts of electricity from being generated on the grid.
Findings showed that in March 2018, domestic gas supply for power generation from the national oil firm was 854mmscfd, but this dropped to 757mmscfd in January this year.
Also, while 3,492MW of electricity was generated by gas-fired power plants from the 854mmscfd that was supplied to them in March last year, the power generated by the plants dropped to 3,124MW in January 2019 due to the reduction in the volume of gas, 757mmscfd, that they received.
It was further observed that the percentage contribution of gas-fired power plants to the total quantum of electricity generated on the grid also dropped due to the reduction in gas supply for power generation during the period.
While the percentage contribution of the gas-fired power plants, including hydro, stood at 84.1 per cent in March 2018, this reduced to 76.4 per cent in January this year.
The Advisory Power Team in the Office of the Vice-President, in their report on Thursday about the performance of the power sector, confirmed that the unavailability of gas was the dominant constraint to power generation in Nigeria.
“1,959.5MW of electricity was not generated due to unavailability of gas on June 5, 2015,” the APT stated in its Thursday report on the power sector for the preceding day.
It added, “The dominant grid constraint on June 5, 2019, was due to unavailability of gas, constraining a total of 1,959.5MW from being available on the grid.”
It, however, stated that 150MW of power was not generated due to unavailability of transmission infrastructure, while 1,077MW was not generated due to high frequency resulting from unavailability of distribution infrastructure.
“355MW was recorded as losses due to water management. The power sector lost an estimated N1.7bn on June 5, 2019, due to constraints from insufficient gas supply, distribution infrastructure and transmission infrastructure,” the APT stated.
Gas supply challenge, as well as other constraints often lead to a drop in power generation and cause system collapse.
For instance, Sunday PUNCH reported exclusively last week that the total quantum of electricity generated on Nigeria’s power grid fell by 1,507.3MW, dropping from a peak of 4,845.4MW to as low as 3,338.1MW.
The report also stated that aside from the drop in power generation which occurred between Wednesday and Thursday two weeks ago, the country’s electricity grid witnessed two system collapses in May 2019.
Both incidents were recorded on the 8th and 9th of May, as the grid collapsed from a peak of 5,114.2MW on May 7 to a low of 42MW on May 8, before falling flat to 8MW on May 9.