Nigeria: DisCos’ Low Demand hits Egbin, Nine Other Power Plants

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Ten out of the nation’s 27 power plants saw their total output reduced by 1,664 megawatts on Thursday as a result of low demand by power distribution companies, data obtained from the Transmission Company of Nigeria showed.

Total power generation in the country stood at 3,627.3MW as of 6.00am on Thursday, while 2,029MW could not be generated due to low load demand by Discos and line constraints.

The nation’s three hydropower plants, namely Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro, generated 190MW, 225MW and 200MW respectively as low load demand by Discos reduced their output by 39MW, 270MW and 230MW respectively.

Other plants affected by the Discos’ low demand were Egbin (51MW), the nation’s biggest power station; Olorunsogo I (76MW), Geregu I (55MW); Azura-Edo IPP (153MW), Okpai IPP (95MW), Afam VI IPP (540MW) and Rivers IPP (45MW).

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.

The Nigeria Electricity System Operator, an arm of the TCN, put the nation’s installed generation capacity at 12,910.40MW; available capacity at 7,652.60MW; transmission wheeling capacity at 8,100MW; and the peak generation ever attained at 5,375MW.

The nation’s power grid recorded its eighth total collapse this year on June 30, plunging consumers across the country into a blackout for some hours.

The government-owned TCN said the national grid experienced a system collapse due to high voltage following a massive drop of load by the Discos, adding that “the high voltage also caused a fire incident in the 75MX reactor in the Benin Substation, Sapele Road in Benin City, Edo State.”

But the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors said there was a trend of burnt transmission stations and failed transmission substation incidents in Lagos, Calabar, Abuja, Enugu and Onitsha as of May 8, 2019, due to inadequate transmission protection mechanisms and procedures.

The Discos also expressed displeasure over TCN’s practice of “arbitrary load dumping on power distributors” whenever the TCN was having challenges in managing energy on its grid, causing a myriad of commercial and technical problems.

The grid has continued to suffer system collapse over the years amid a lack of spinning reserve that is meant to forestall such occurrences. The grid suffered four total collapses in January and one each in February, April, May and June, according to the system operator.

Spinning reserve is the generation capacity that is online but unloaded and that can respond within 10 minutes to compensate for generation or transmission outages.

Out of the five power stations meant to provide spinning reserves, none has any actual reserve, with the contracted reserve put at 295MW.

The power stations are Egbin, Delta, Olorunsogo NIPP, Geregu NIPP and Omotosho NIPP.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on Thursday advised motorists and other petroleum product consumers to disregard the trending rumour of a planned hike in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol.

It explained that the statement of the corporation’s Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari, at the National Assembly on Wednesday did not suggest any plan to increase the price of the white product.

NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr Ndu Ughamadu, clarified that what the NNPC GMD stated during his engagement with the Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan, was that the price of petrol was abysmally low in Nigeria compared to what obtained in neighbouring West African countries.

Ughamadu noted that Kyari had observed at the event that the huge disparity in the pump price of petrol between Nigeria on the one hand and her neighbouring countries, on the other hand, tended to encourage cross-border leakages.

This, according to Ughamadu, was why the NNPC boss sought the support of the leadership of the National Assembly to curb the malaise of smuggling.

The oil firm advised Nigerians to disregard the insinuation of a planned hike in the price of petrol by NNPC.

It stated that statutorily, NNPC was not even in a position to regulate the price of petroleum products, adding that the corporation’s role as an operator must be differentiated from that of any of the industry regulators.

Ughamadu stated that as directed by relevant agencies of the government, the pump price of petrol remained N145 per litre.

NNPC cautioned petroleum products’ marketers not to sell petrol above N145 per litre following the disclaimed rumour.

It advised Nigerians to remain vigilant and volunteer information to the Department of Petroleum Resources, the industry regulator, or to any law enforcement agency around them, on any station selling petrol above N145 per litre.

Authored By: Femi Asu

SOURCE: PUNCH

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