Data from the Nigerian Electricity System Operator has revealed that ten of the nation’s 29 power plants sat idle on Monday on the back of low load demand by the distribution companies and gas constraints.

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According to data, the total power generation in the country fell to 4,112.10 megawatts as of 6 AM on Monday from 4,354.7MW on Sunday.

The data showed that the generation capacity of 2,126.5MW could not be utilised as of 6 AM on Monday as a result of the Discos’ load rejection and gas constraints.

The idle plants were Afam IV &V, Alaoji, Olorunsogo II, Omotosho II, Ihovbor, Gbarain, AES, ASCO, Rivers IPP, and Egbin ST6.

“The power sector lost an estimated N972m on January 2, 2021 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 Sunday.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission said recently that Discos would be liable to the capacity charge for failure to take their entire load allocation caused by constraints in their networks.

The Transmission Company of Nigeria which manages the national grid, is responsible for the allocation of the load to the Discos.

“Where it is established that the TCN is unable to deliver load allocation, the TCN shall be liable to pay for the associated capacity charge,” NERC had said.

In a related development, four agencies under the Federal Ministry of Power have budgeted a total of N20.45m for the fuelling and maintenance of generators in 2021.

This is contained in the 2021 Federal Government of Nigeria Approved Budget Details obtained by our correspondent from the Budget Office of the Federation.

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The Rural Electrification Agency budgeted N1.55m for fuelling generators and N488,000 for maintenance.

The Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency planned to spend N4m on fuelling generators and N2m on maintenance.

The National Power Training Institute budgeted N1.8m for fuelling generators and N2m for maintenance.

The Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Limited put its expected generators’ fuel and maintenance costs at N5.31m and N3.3m respectively.

The country generates most of its electricity from gas-fired power plants, while output from hydropower plants account for about 30 per cent of total generation. The hydropower plants are Kainji, Jebba, Shiroro and Dadin Kowa, which was connected to the grid last month.

The system operator put the nation’s installed generation capacity at 12,954.40MW; available capacity at 7,652.60MW; transmission wheeling capacity at 7,300MW; and the peak generation ever attained at 5520.4MW.