By Sebastine Obasi
There was a slight improvement in power supply, as cumulative power sent out last week stood at 21,042 megawatts, MW, as against 19,985MW sent out the previous week, data obtained from the National Electricity System Operator, an arm of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, showed.
This was reflected in the amount of money lost within the period under review, which stood at N7.23 billion for last week, as against N7.45 billion recorded the previous week. The highest power sent out last week was 3,723MW, which was recorded on July 12, while the highest for the week before stood at 3,480MW.
It was recorded on July 7. The least power sent out last week was 3,114MW recorded on July 9, as against 3,168MW recorded on July 1. Generation companies, GENCOs recorded the highest loss of N1.31billion on July 13, as against N1.36 billion recorded the previous week. Expectedly, some of the power plants malfunctioned within the period under review.
High frequency due to loss of distribution companies’, DisCo feeders remained a significant constraint to generation in Shiroro, Jebba, Odukpani, Geregu I, Omotosho I, Olorunsogo II, and Transcorp Ughelli.
There were increased line constraints at Ibom, Olorunsogo I, Okpai, Transcorp Ughelli, Egbin, Afam V1, Alaoji NIPP, and Ihovbor.
There was also system collapse as Olorunsogo NIPPs 1 & 2 tripped due to system surge, while Omoku 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 tripped on reverse power due to Afam/Port Harcourt 132kV line 1 that was taken out for planned outage.
Gas supply also remained a challenge as there were gas constraints to all the power plants. It could be recalled that the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola had said that gas would remain a major constraint in the power supply chain because suppliers have not been “fully paid” as a result of liquidity problems and also noted that pipeline sabotage by Niger Delta militants had greatly affected power output.
He said: “We heard there was a liquidity problem, gas suppliers haven’t been fully paid, you have back and forth between DisCos and GenCos so those are the issues apart from the sabotage that we have had from the Western axis of the Niger Delta.
“If you can’t produce oil, you can’t take the gas. The gas is the fuel that the power plants need. You have seen what we have been doing in increasing the capacity in firing transmission but if we don’t have fuel to fire the plants, that is the reason.
“What then happens on the grid is that once it goes below 3,000 MW, it becomes unstable. It is like in your house when you have surges and your circuit breakers trip to protect the system. So once it falls below a certain threshold you then have those trip offs.”