Power plants generating below 50% capacity –Investigation | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Power plants generating below 50% capacity –Investigation

Posted: Apr 23, 2015 at 1:41 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

•‘FG can raise $55b by raising gas price’

By Obas Esiedesa,  Senior Reporter, Abuja


Virtually all power generation plants in the country are currently operating below 50 per cent of installed, leaving a generation deficit of about 4,432.4megawatt, Daily Independent investigation has revealed.

With an installed capacity of 7,627.5 megawatts from available units, the 23 power generation plants generated just 3,194.1mw as at 6am on April 18, 2015.

The poor performance of the plants made up of 10 privatised companies, seven National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) plants and six Independent Power Producers (IPP) plants, has led to acute shortage of power across the country.

Factors such unavailability of gas, breakdowns, and water shortages have limited the operations of the plants.

Egbin, for instance, with a capacity of 1,100mw, generated a meager 306mw while Delta with an installed capacity of 600mw generated only 282mw.

Sapele (steam) generated just 75mw from an installed capacity of 240mw, while Sapele (NIPP) generated 112mw from installed capacity of 112.5mw, according to available data.

For the hydro plants, Kainji generated 205mw from its installed 280mw of the available units; Jebba, 346mw from installed capacity of 482mw; while Shiroro contributed nothing from its 450mw installed capacity.

Checks also showed that Olorunsogo (gas) generated 133.4mw from installed 294mw, while Olorunsogo (NIPP) with installed capacity of 500mw barely generated 146.1mw.

Geregu (gas) was however able to generate 100 per cent of it 138mw installed capacity; while scooped just 79mw from its 435mw IPP.

Omotosho (gas) generated 112.3mw from a 252mw capacity of available units and just 91mw from 375mw capacity IPP.

Despite its recent commissioning, Alaoji (NIPP-GT 3&4) with an capacity of 250mw is not producing power.

Ihovbor (NIPP) that can generate 225mw, recorded 112mw, while Odukpani (NIPP) with 125mw capacity, generated nothing due to tripping of the Aba/Itu line.

From the IPPs, Okpai with a capacity of 480mw generated 394mw; while Afam VI generated 539mw from 650mw installed capacity. Afam IV-V (gas) was out for various reasons.

Ibom Power (gas) generated 107.3mw from 115mw; while ASCO generated just 16mw from 55mw installed capacity.

AES (barges) with 288mw and Rivers IPP with 180mw were not producing.

Altogether, about 2702.5mw of unutilized power generation capabilities were lost due to gas constraints in a country with one of the largest natural gas deposit in the world.

About 540mw were lost due to water management, while another 127mw were lost due to line constraints.

Meanwhile, President of the Nigerian Gas Association, Bolaji Osunsanya, wants the Federal Government to raise the prices of gas, as way of attracting about $55 billion of investment. This, he believes, would also check persistent shortages in local consumption.

Osunsanya, who is also managing director of Oando Gas & Power Limited, in an interview with Bloomberg TV Africa in Lagos published on Wednesday, suggested that the increase by government could become effective in August for power plants. An increase to $2.50 for 1,000 cubic feet, from about $0.50, he believes, is not enough,

He said the investment is necessary to prospect for more gas; set up five processing facilities at about $2 billion each and develop domestic distribution channels.

According to Bloomberg Intelligence, international oil companies, which had been export-focused due to low domestic gas prices fixed by the government, have agreed to sell off $10 billion of assets over the past three years; noting that those assets are largely being taken over by local companies, such as Seplat Petroleum Development Company and Midwestern Oil and Gas Company Limited.

It also noted that Oando’s $1.65 billion acquisition of ConocoPhillips’s Nigerian oil and gas assets in June made it the country’s biggest indigenous gas producer, with a production of more than 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent.

“We should incentivize people with the best reward and encourage people to come into the fold,” Osunsanya said, adding that he would wish that Nigeria take the strategic importance of gas more seriously.

“We should encourage more exploitation to bring out the gas for domestic use. A lot of it needs to come quickly because there’s an existing power side that requires a lot of gas,” Osunsanya added.

The call by Osunsanya was sequel to a recent complaint by the chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, Sam Amadi, who lamented that the West African nation’s electricity industry is hampered by the inability of producers to raise finance and stop natural-gas shortages; curbing companies’ capacity to boost investment in output as Africa’s biggest crude producer suffers from daily blackouts.

Also, Lagos-based Head of Energy Research at Ecobank Transnational Incorporation, Dolapo Oni, was quoted as saying that  Nigeria has not given its gas sector the attention it should, saying that: “From the domestic side of things, gas can transform the power sector.”