Power sector lost N154bn in 125 days —FG

Between January 1 and May 5 this year, the power sector lost about N154bn as a result of the unavailability of gas, distribution and transmission infrastructure, as well as water reserve challenges, the Federal Government has said.

A document on Nigeria’s power sector performance put together by the Advisory Power Team at the Office of the Vice President and obtained in Abuja on Sunday, stated that on May 5, 2018, the sector lost N1.87bn.

The document, which is the latest on the sector’s performance, stated that while peak power generation was 4,207.6 megawatts, over 1,700MW of electricity could not be generated on May 5 as a result of gas unavailability.

The latest peak generation was, however, lower than the highest peak of 5,090MW so far for the year as reported exclusively by Sunday PUNCH on April 29, 2018.

The power System Operator had revealed that peak electricity generation crossed the 5,000 megawatts mark in the fourth week of April, as 5,090MW was recorded on April 26, which was the highest quantum of electricity ever recorded on the national grid since the beginning of this year.

The APT in the document also stated that the country’s peak power generation to date of 5,222MW was recorded on December 18, 2017.

“Peak generation for May 5, 2018 was 4,207.6MW. Peak generation to date is 5,222MW (18 December 2017). Estimated amount lost to insufficient gas supply, distribution, transmission and water reserves in 2018 is N153,986,000,000.”

On service delivery in the sector, the team said, “On May 5, 2018, the average power sent out was 3,468MWh/hour, down by 114.33MWh/h from the previous day; 1,740MW was not generated due to unavailability of gas; 90MW was not generated due to unavailability of transmission infrastructure; while 1,871.5MW was not generated due to high frequency resulting from unavailability of distribution infrastructure.

“A total of 95MW was not generated due to water management. The power sector lost an estimated N1,870,000,000 on May 5, 2018 due to insufficient gas supply, distribution infrastructure, transmission infrastructure and water reserves. The dominant constraint on May 5, 2018 was from unavailability of transmission infrastructure, constraining a total of 1,871MW from being available on the grid.”

Power generation companies in the country have on several occasions complained that gas producers are cutting down supplies to the thermal electricity generating plants as a result of the Gencos’ indebtedness to gas companies.

This, according to the power firms, has impacted negatively on the state of electricity generation across the country, as they call on the government to prevail on the industry to clear the hundreds of billions of naira debt being owed the generation companies, a development that made them to drag the Federal Government to court recently.