Power generation in Nigeria increased by 1,100 megawatts in four days despite last Thursday’s fire incident that affected the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline supplying gas to some power plants.
While the nation’s current transmission capacity was put at 7,000MW, network operational capacity stood at 5,500MW.
Total electricity generation stood at 4,327MW as of 6am last Thursday, January 11, compared to 3,227.9MW last Sunday, when 12 power plants were idle.
The rise in generation followed the resumption on Monday of gas supply to six power plants – Egbin (Lagos), Omotosho I and II (Ondo), Olorunsogo I and II and Paras Energy (Ogun) – after the completion of the repair work on the pipeline, which was damaged by the fire incident on January 2.
The plants did not generate any megawatt of electricity for four straight days until Monday when the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System, supplying gas to them, came back on stream.
The nation generates most of its electricity from gas-fired power plants, while output from hydropower plants makes up about 30 per cent of the total generation.
Total generation, which fell slightly to 3,517.5MW as of 6am on January 3, 2018 (the morning after the grid collapse caused by the first pipeline fire), rose to 4,102.3MW on January 10.
Unutilised generation capacity occasioned by gas constraint dropped to 1,004.8MW as of 6am on January 11 from 3,133.3MW on January 5, according to the data obtained by our correspondent on Friday from the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.
But the combined generation from Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro hydro plants, which rose by 580MW to 1,212MW on January 3 and offset most of the losses caused by the shutdown of the six power plants, dropped to 769MW on January 11.
Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro generated 397MW, 174MW and 198MW, respectively on Thursday, compared to 339MW, 445MW and 428MW on January 3, the data showed.
Jebba did not generate electricity last Monday as five of its units (2G1 to five) were said to have tripped due to the loss of auxiliary supply and 2G6 out due to burnt generator winding and automatic voltage regulator.
Electricity generation from Egbin, the nation’s biggest power station, stood at 410MW as of 6am last Thursday, compared to 561MW on January 2.
Seven out of the nation’s 28 power plants did not generate any megawatt as of 6am on Thursday, compared to 14 on Friday, January 5. The plants are Sapele I, Alaoji II, Olorunsogo II, Azura-Edo, AES, ASCO, and Trans-Amadi.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation said on Friday that routine gas supply for power generation was not affected by the fresh fire incident, which engulfed a segment of the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System because an alternative pipeline was re-streamed immediately to prevent the disruption of gas supply to power plants in parts of the country.
The corporation said gas supply into the network via alternative sources had been ramped up ahead of ongoing repair work on the affected segment as directed by the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru.
Apart from being the main source of gas supply to some crucial power plants, the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System feeds the West Africa Gas Pipeline System.