The unavailability of gas is preventing the generation of over 1,500 megawatts of electricity on a daily basis since the beginning of this year.
Gas-fired power plants contribute about 70 percent of Nigeria’s total electricity on the national grid. But the latest industry data showed that the thermal plants had been facing gas supply challenges lately.
Findings from the National Control Centre and the Nigeria System Operator, which are arms of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, showed that the drop in power generation as a result of gas constraint since the beginning of this month was in contrast to what obtained in December 2017.
An analysis of the TCN’s different daily reports of the power sector revealed that 2675MW, 3354.3MW, 3133MW, 2839MW, 1418.8MW, 1437.9MW and 1879.7MW could not be generated due to gas challenges on January 2, 3, 4, 6, 13 and 14, respectively.
Further findings for another set of days since the year began showed that 2416.7MW, 2177MW, 1615MW, 1715MW and 2047MW of electricity could not be generated as a result of gas constraint on January 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22, respectively.
This, however, was not the case in December last year, as a gas constraint to power generation was not as high as what was recorded in January this year.
For instance, 724MW and 963.2MW of electricity could not be generated due to unavailability of gas on December 8 and 28 last year, while the highest figures of last month were far less than what was recorded in January 2018.
Apart from the system collapses recorded so far in 2018, power generation hovered between 2,660.1MW and 4,000MW. It recorded a peak of 4,932.7MW on January 8, 2018, but this was not sustained, as it crashed to 2,800.7MW the next day.
On why gas constraint had been preventing the generation of over 1,500MW of electricity on a daily basis since the beginning of 2018, the Executive Secretary, Association of Power Generation Companies, Joy Ogaji, said gas suppliers should be held accountable.
But gas producers argued that it was wrong to state that unavailability of gas was the reason why power generation companies could not generate over 1,500MW electricity daily.
According to them, gas producers were ready to provide the volume of gas required for the generation of 7,000MW of electricity, as against what was being generated by Gencos across the country.
-Nigeria Electricity Hub