Electricity grid loses 1,615mw over gas cut

 The Nigerian electricity grid at the weekend lost 1,615 megawatts (MW) as gas supply was cut off from nine Generation Companies (GenCos).
A quick survey of customers’ views across Kaduna, Lagos and Abuja showed that the quantum of power supply to them during the weekend was poor. 
John Okunsanya, a commercial customer in Bariga, Lagos, said the power supply situation in his area was not getting better.
At Kado area of Abuja, Yusuf Aliyu, a frozen food dealer, said the supply was epileptic and that electricity did not last for 10 hours on Sunday. “This is how it has been for a while now. Consecutively, I don’t think we get about 10 hours of power daily these days. But around my home in Lugbe, the electricity is much more stable,” said Aliyu.  
Haruna Bulus, who resides at Mando area in Kaduna metropolis rated power supply as average in his area. He said: “For now electricity has not been stable, but we get more at night than in the day time and we need it to work during the day; so it is still a challenge to us.”
Daily Trust checked the trend in electricity generation recently and found that Nigeria attained the highest peak generation of 4,932MW this year on January 8, 2018 after a burnt gas pipeline was restored. 
The grid had continued to hover around 4,500MW since then but dropped to 4,279MW last Thursday for some reasons.
As at Friday, the peak power generation had plunged to 3,986MW and further dipped to 3,897MW on Saturday, available data from the Nigeria System Electricity Operator (NSEO), a section of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), showed.
The peak generation plunged as eight out of the 29 power plants did not operate in the early hours of Friday. The affected Generation Companies (GenCos) included Sapele Steam, Alaoji National Integrated Power Project (NIPP), and Olorunsogo NIPP.
The others were Gbarain NIPP and Azura-Edo Independent Power Plant (IPP) that was commissioned last month, ASCO, AES and Paras Energy records showed.
Analysis of data also showed that the lowest generation on Saturday was 2,686MW as five more GenCos went down during the off-peak period. They were Egbin Steam, Egbin Gas, Omotosho Gas, Olorunsogo Gas and Omotosho NIPP.
The data obtained on Sunday revealed the causes of the plunge in electricity generation which also affected power supply to Nigerians: the electricity grid lost 1,615MW resulting from a cut in gas supply to nine GenCos. Four of the affected GenCos are along the gas supply route of Escravos Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) that was reportedly blown a fortnight ago. 
The incident on the western gas supply route occurred some five days after a section gutted by fire was repaired and restored. 
Although the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had assured that the latest pipeline incident would not affect power generation. However in the western region, Omotosho Gas and Olorunsogo Gas lost 190MW to gas cut; Omotosho NIPP and Olorunsogo NIPP lost 240MW and 360MW in the same axis.
In the Eastern axis, gas supply cut affected Alaoji’s NIPP with a loss of 240MW. In the North central, Geregu NIPP lost 145MW, while Geregu Gas lost only 5MW to gas cut.
Two GenCos were affected in the southern part: Omoku NIPP lost 240MW and Ihovbor-Benin lost 225MW to gas cut.
Another constraint that dipped power generation by 467MW last weekend was transmission lines’ inadequacy which affected four GenCos. Odukpani NIPP lost 230MW, Ibom Power lost 115MW and Rivers IPP lost 50MW in the South-South. Only Paras Energy which lost 72MW was affected in the West. 
Energy load rejection at the distribution side which was often high to about 2,000MW in 2017 dropped to 378MW on Friday due to the insufficient power generation caused by the gas cut. 
However Shiroro hydropower lost 178MW and Afam GenCo lost 200MW to the cut. The dry season and its attendant drop in water level affected Shiroro hydropower GenCo, where 290MW was lost, data from TCN also revealed.

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