A total generation capacity of 2,079.1 megawatts was left stranded as nine of the nation’s 27 power plants were idle on Thursday (16th July 2020).
According to the Nigerian Electricity System Operator, the total power generation in the country stood at 3,269.6MW as of 6 AM on Thursday, up from 3,074.6MW the previous day.
The data obtained from the system operator showed that the idle plants included five of those built under the National Integrated Power Project, namely Alaoji, Olorunsogo II, Omotosho II, Ihovbor and Gbarain.
Other plants that did not produce any megawatt of electricity as of 6 AM on Thursday were Afam IV & V, Ibom Power, AES and ASCO.
The shutdown of the power plants was attributed to gas constraint, low load demand by the distribution companies, maintenance, frequency response and rupturing of gas pipelines, among others.
Two units (GT11 and GT12) at Afam IV & V were said to have been scrapped; GT13, 14 and 16 out on blade failure; GT19 and 20 awaiting overhaul; GT17 out due to low load demand by the distribution companies, and GT 18 out due to gas constraint.
Alaoji’s GT1 and 3 were out due to low load demand by the Discos; GT2 out due to high air inlet differential pressure, and GT4 awaiting spare part.
Olorunsogo’s GT1 was out on inspection; GT2 and 3 out due to gas constraint, and GT4 out due to low load demand by the Discos.
Gas constraint and low load demand by the Discos left three units at Omotosho and two units at Ihovbor idle, while a unit at Gbarain was shut down due to the rupturing of the gas pipeline.
Ibom Power’s GT1 was out on inlet guide vane problem; GT2 out due to a fire outbreak on the control panel, and GT3 out due to low load demand by the Discos.
AES has been out of production since September 27, 2014, while ASCO’s ST1 unit is out due to leakage in the furnace, according to the NESO data.
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.
“The power sector lost an estimated N2.01bn on July 14, 2020, due to constraints from insufficient gas supply, distribution infrastructure and transmission infrastructure,” the Advisory Power Team in the Office of the Vice-President said on Wednesday.
The system operator 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 distribution and generation companies carved out of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria were handed over to private investors on November 1, 2013, following the privatisation of the power sector.