Power outages have heightened in the country as power supply has been struggling to stay above 3,000 megawatts in recent months just as factors such as gas shortage and power grid collapse continue to limit generation.
Low load demand by power distribution companies and gas problems are inhibiting the generation of over 3,000 megawatts of electricity, our correspondent has learnt.
Twelve out of the nation’s 27 power plants were affected by low energy demand by the electricity distribution firms on Saturday, causing a generation capacity of 2,672.6MW to be idle, the latest data obtained from the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing on Tuesday showed.
A generation capacity of 862.5MW was unavailable as of 6am that day as a result of gas constraints, which affected five power plants, namely Geregu I, Afam VI, Geregu NIPP, Sapele NIPP and Gbarain NIPP.
This year, the national grid has so far recorded 11 collapses – 10 total, while one was partial, according to the data from the ministry.
According to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, a total system collapse means total blackout nationwide, while partial system collapse is a failure of a section of the grid.
The latest total collapse occurred on September 20, 2018.
Some power generation companies have been forced to shut down some of their units or reduce output as a result of low load demand by the Discos and gas shortfall.
The nation’s total electricity generation, which has been hovering around 3,000MW and 3,500MW in recent months, stood at 3,274.50MW as of 6am on Saturday.
Under the Multi Year Tariff Order load allocation, the 11 Discos in the country share the total volume of power generated by the Gencos based on their customer base.
The plants affected by the low load demand by the Discos on Saturday were Egbin, Geregu I, Omotosho I, Olorunsogo I, Alaoji NIPP, Olorunsogo NIPP, Omotosho NIPP, Ihovbor NIPP, Azura-Edo IPP, Rivers IPP, Delta, and Afam VI.
The Minister of Power Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, at a recent meeting with stakeholders in the power sector, said, “Those who know and who genuinely desire to solve problems in this industry do not need to be told that the most pressing challenge of the sector today lies at the distribution end.
“Amongst the challenges at this sector of the value chain (and there are problems in gas, generation and transmission), the most urgent is distribution of available energy to consumers, and there is an unused energy in the region of 2,000 megawatts in this category.”