The strike action by workers unions’ of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, over the unbundling of the corporation has taken it’s toll on power generation.
Power generation dropped to 1,580.6 megawatts, MW, in the early hours of of Wednesday, March 9, 2016.
Recall that generation capacity had inched up to 4,387MW on Friday, after crashing to 2,800MW prior to that from a peak of 5000MW due to gas pipeline vandalism, according to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC.
Data from the Nigerian Systems Operations Department of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, website,www.nsong.org, indicated that the situation had gone even worse, with generation peaking at 1,580.6MW as at 9.48am yesterday.
Although the Systems Operations did not give any reasons for the drastic drop, or which plant generated what, it however, indicated that the 1,580.6MW were distributed to the 11 electricity Distribution Companies, DISCOs, as follows: Ikeja: 237.09MW; Abuja: 181.77MW; Eko:173.87MW; Benin: 142.25MW; Enugu : 142.25 MW; Ibadan: 205.48MW; Jos: 86.93MW; Kano: 126.45MW; Kaduna: 126.4MMW; Port Harcourt: 102.74 MW; and Yola: 55.32 MW.
The NNPC workers had threatened that the latest strike will affect every economic activity, as there will be no loading of petroleum products at the depots , a development that has escalated current fuel shortages, while also cutting gas supply.
Majority of Nigeria’s power plants whether on-grid or off-grid, depend on gas supply from the Nigeria Gas Company, a subsidiary of NNPC, to fuel the plants.
With NNPC workers making good its threat to cut off gas supply and suspend lifting of petroleum products, even to power homes and businesses through private generators will become more difficult and at premium costs.
Even without the current crisis, many of the generating plants had been having issues, especially with plant upgrades and re-tooling, which are being frustrated by the scarcity of foreign exchange and inability to import the necessary tools.
For instance, the Egbin Power Plc, Nigeria’s largest plant with a capacity of 1320MW, could barely generate up to 900MW last week, which a top management source attributed to gas shortages occasioned by pipeline vandalism.
According to the source, “For over a week now, our generation has been between 800mw and 900mw against 1100megawatts recorded two weeks ago. As a result of this shortfall, it is expected that the power transmitted to the distribution companies would be rationalised.”