Insufficient Gas Supply: Power Sector Loses N19.15b In 10 Days


By Akanimo Sampson

Going by data from the Advisory Power Team (APT) in the Office of the Vice President of Nigeria, the country’s epileptic power sector lost around N19.15 billion in just 10 days, due to constraints from insufficient gas supply, distribution and transmission infrastructure.

The obviously huge losses were recorded in the 10 days to this February 14.

On Friday, Valentine’s Day (February 14) the sector lost an estimated N1.96 billion; it lost N2.01 billion on February 13; N2.00 billion on February 12; N1.95 billion in February 11; N2.15 billion on February 10, and N1.95 billion on February 9.

The lost trend continued with N1.89 billion on February 8; N1.92 billion on February 7; N1.77 billion on February 6, and N1.55 billion on February 5.

According to the source, the average energy sent out on Valentine’s Day, was 4,108 megawatts-hour/hour, up by 111.51 MW from the previous day.

The APT said 3,314 MW was not generated due to the unavailability of gas; 188.6MW was not generated due to the unavailability of transmission infrastructure, while 579.2MW was not generated due to high frequency resulting in from the unavailability of distribution infrastructure.

The average energy sent out on the eve of the Valentine’s Day was 3,997 MWh/h, while 4,181.4MW was not generated due to gas shortage, unavailability of transmission and distribution infrastructure as well as water management.

On Wednesday, the average energy sent out was 4,033 MWh/h while 4,171.4MW could not be generated by the power stations, and on Tuesday, the average energy sent out was 3,994 MWh/h while available power generation capacity of 4,064,2M was idle.

On Monday, the average energy sent out was 3,908 MWh/h while 4,476.4MW could not be generated by the power stations, and on February 9, the average sent out was 3,929 MWh/h; 3,872 MWh/h on February 8; 4,040 MWh/h on February 7; 4,092 MWh/h on February 6; and 4,145 MWh/h on February 5.

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The system operator put Nigeria’s installed generation capacity at 12,910.40MW; available capacity at 7,652.60MW; transmission wheeling capacity at 8,100MW; and the peak generation ever attained at 5,375MW.

The country is generating the bulk of her electricity from gas-fired power plants, while output from hydropower plants makes up about 30 percent of the total.

The Distribution and Generation (DisCos and GenCos) companies carved out of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria were handed over to private investors on November 1, 2013, following the privatisation of the power sector.

Disturbingly, more than six years after the privatization exercise, the investors who took over the power firms that emerged after the unbundling of the PHCN are still grappling with the old problems in the sector.

Those who know better say the sector is plagued with problems of gas supply shortages, limited distribution networks, limited transmission line capacity, huge metering gap, electricity theft, and high technical and commercial losses, among other economic-crippling factors.