ELECTRICITY SUPPLY has increased, relatively, post-privatisation in Nigeria, especially in the few areas where metering of customers has occurred but electricity generating companies (GenCos) still utilise less than 40 percent of their installed capacity. This has been largely blamed on two issues: inadequate existing gas distribution infrastructure and insufficient gas supply.
The increased power supply can be partly credited to the increased electricity generation by the GenCos, but these constraints lead to recurring electricity shortage as an examination by business a.m. revealed that deficient gas supply for power generation cut down electricity by 66,685 megawatts (MW) at the national grid last month, a report from the Nigerian electricity supply industry statistics has shown.
A rule of thumb estimation shows that approximately 1,000 MW serves around a million people in a population and going by this benchmark, the megawatts lost to gas constraint (66,685 MW) could have serviced a quarter of the population. The report showed that the generation companies (GenCos) were unable to get enough gas to produce that quantum of power.
A breakdown of the shortage indicates that Geregu GenCo in Kogi State, whose installed capacity is 845MW was worst hit as it lost 19,089MW. Its generation capacity was severely hindered because gas was inadequately supplied to the generating plant. It was able to generate just 4,209MW. This comes after Femi Otedola, who had acquired the company in 2013 through a subsidiary of Forte Oil Plc, Amperion Power Distribution Company Limited said he invested $350 million to raise the generating capacity of the company.
Also, Olorunsogo GenCo in Ogun State with installed capacity of 1111MW came second as it lost 11,509MW. This GenCo has been consistently plagued by gas supply issues and was able to generate 5,355MW for the period under review; while Alaoji GenCo in Abia state generated 592MW as its generational capacity was shut down.
In the same vein, Odukpani GenCo was entirely shut down as it was unable to produce any electricity to be transmitted. Earlier this year, Nigeria’s transmission company, TCN had cut off the generating company after its tripping off had resulted in a major disruption of power generation to the national grid. In the month of May, it could not produce any electricity due to gas supply issues, having lost 7,130MW.
Afam GenCo in Rivers State lost 4,438MW to these peculiar problems. The power plant is still under the federal government after its privatization failed in 2013. However, FG said it hopes to privatize it by December this year, or in first quarter of 2019. Omotosho GenCo in Ondo state also lost 10,080MW and each;
On the other hand, Paras Energy in Lagos was the only GenCo not hindered by any constraint. It was able to send out its generated power of 2,040MW.