THE 11 electricity distribution companies (DisCos) have faulted the position of Minister of Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola on the current state of the power sector.
The Minister had noted an increase in generation and transmission capacities with 2,000mws stranded power due to constraints from the DisCos.
They alleged that the Minister was not been truthful regarding critical issues bothering on the sector, describing this as a deliberate attempt to discredit them in the face of the public.
Director of Advocacy and Research, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors ( ANED) Barrister Sunday Oduntan who was reacting to a recent briefing by the Minister on the Power Sector State of Play, Next Steps and Policy Directions stated this at a conference in Abuja.
Oduntan, who among other issues, responded to issues ranging from the stranded 2,000MWs power, metering, exclusive rights of the DisCos, accused the Minister of politicizing the issue of power.
According to him, Fashola’s progress report on the increase in power generation capacity from 4,000 in 2015 to 7,000MW in 2018 and the inability of the DisCos to take the stranded 2,000MWs power was a misinformation.
He explained that:” A review of NERC’s “Daily Energy Watch” for January 28th, 2015 would indicate a generation availability of 6,421 MW (divided into peak of 4,230 MW and constrained energy of 2,191 MW) In other words, it is misleading to state that available generation has grown from 4,000 MW in 2015, as a measure of progress, given that a volume of generation slightly under 7,000 MW already or previously existed, prior to the beginning of this administration. Furthermore, there is no stranded 2,000 MW.”
He maintained that although there is an available capacity of 7,000 MW, the best that can be generated is 5,000 MW as a result of insufficient gas to power the thermal plants, gas line limitations and the absence of a commercial framework that would encourage gas exploration.
“….However, we do not understand the constant references to the increase of generation capacity to 7,000 MW, from 4,000 MW, for the period of 2015 to 2018, that has been used as the basis of defining the DisCos as incapable of taking on more power – the stranded 2,000 MW.
“Generation that is constrained by gas amounts to an average 1,500 MW daily. Of note is that 25 out of 28 generation plants are fueled by gas. Transmission grid frequency, line limitation and water management make up the difference of the balance 500 MW of constrained generation. In simple terms, the often-advertised and pronounced DisCo limitation to take on 2,000 MW of additional generation is not consistent with the facts or reality. This, therefore, shows that very little has actually changed contrary to the Minister’s constant pronouncements,” he maintained.
On the expansion of transmission capacity and its increase from 5,000 MW in 2015 to 7,124 MW in December 2017, Oduntan also stressed that the TCN has never wheeled energy in excess of 4,265 MW.
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“… In spite of TCN’s tested wheeling capacity of 5,500 MW, with the two historical generation peaks of 5,074 MW (February 2nd, 2016) and 5,222 MW (December 18th, 2017), only 4,577 MW and 4,265 MW was wheeled or transmitted, respectively. In simple terms, TCN has not wheeled energy in excess of 4,265 MW.– ever!” he said.
While quoting from a System Adequacy report authored by Market Operator/TCN (July 2017), he said: “Transmission constraints frequently limited the power flows in the network. Generation in the south-east frequently had to be reduced due to local transmission constraints and due to constraints in the lines from Benin towards Lagos areas.
“Whenever the availability of generation was high, the flow from Shiroro to Kaduna had to be limited to ensure that voltage stability would be maintained in operation. As a result, the power allocated to the northern DISCOs (according to MYTO) could frequently not be met. Furthermore, a redistribution of power to the southern DISCOs often failed, ultimately requiring the generation in the south-eastern network to be reduced.”
The Director, to this end, stressed the government’s increased focus on strengthening the grid, for the required alignment of the NESI energy supply chain, which must be in tandem with the DisCos’ expansion plans.
“…Further confirmation of the limitation of TCN is the 22 total systems collapses in 2016 and 6 partials; 15 total systems collapse and 9 partial meltdowns in 2017; and six times in the first eight days of 2018 alone. As such, there certainly is a need for government’s increased focus on strengthening the grid, for the required alignment of the NESI energy supply chain, However, such strengthening of the grid must be in tandem with the DisCos’ expansion plans rather than a haphazard design and implementation of projects, resulting in the waste of taxpayer, donor and multilateral institution funds.
“It should be noted that within TCN and DISCOs, potential capacities exist that are not useful, mainly due to the placement of such capacities in locations that do not need these or cannot draw on these capacities. Hence such cannot be counted as available capacities,” he added.
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