Data from the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) says that Nigeria’s electricity generation has dropped by over 740 Mega Watts (MW) from the 4,202.7MW recorded in September to 3,462.1MW.
TCN in its daily generation report on Tuesday, put the lowest electricity generation at 2,992.0MW while its peak output stood at 3,500.10MW.
Despite gas supply constraint to power plants, the country has in the last three months enjoyed stable electricity, which was made possible by the hydropower plants.
But gas constraint, the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI), said made the country’s power sector to suffer a deficit of about N2.033 billion on October 31 alone.
NESI stated, “On October 31, 2016, average power sent out was 3288MWh/hour. The reported gas constraint was 4035MW. The reported line constraint was 20MW and the reported high-frequency constraint is 180MW. The water management constraint was 0MW. The power sector lost an estimated N2.033 billion on October 31, 2016, due to constraints.”
The President of the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA), Bolaji Osunsanya, speaking on the issue of gas constraints to power plants at a conference in Abuja said Nigeria’s current gas production can deliver 32GW if fully deployed for power.
Osunsanya said the country would still be behind India, South Africa and many other developing economies in making sizeable quantities of gas available for domestic electricity consumption.
According to him, gas-fuelled generation accounts for only about 2.5GW of the current generation.
He further noted that improper planning has led to 2GW of generating plants being stranded with no gas supply.
He said, “This would seem to underscore the size of the opportunity that exists to fill this obvious gap. Gas supply has been highlighted as the weak link in the development of the power sector. While we would not debate how we got here, we will rise up to the challenge of ensuring that gas is made readily available for the development of the electricity supply industry. It is clear that with a focused development, domestic gas can be harnessed to fuel the entire power demands of the country and beyond.”
Osunsanya said the issues facing the power sector must be addressed at the same time.
He explained, “The cash collections in the system must be adequate to support any development in the sector including Gas development and supply, Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution. The regulators and other government agencies, such as the Bulk Trader and the Ministries of Finance, Power and Petroleum, must come to a common understanding of the imperatives of the sector so that we begin to solve the problem. A top priority would be the securitisation of investments in the sector and appropriate pricing of the building blocks.”
He said that more investment in the gas sector would help to provide the necessary output for the power sector.
Osunsanya hinted that the scale of investment in the gas sector needs new thinking.