10 power plants idle, generation tumbles to 2,866MW

Electricity generation in the country has fallen again below 3,000 megawatts, as the number of idle plants rose to 10 on Monday.

Total power generation plunged to 2,866.1MW as of 6am on Monday from 3,141.8MW on Sunday, latest data obtained from the Nigeria Electricity System Operator on Tuesday showed.

The plants that did not generate any megawatt of electricity included six built under the National Integrated Power Project, namely Sapele, Alaoji, Olorunsogo, Omotosho, Ihovbor and Gbarain.

Others were Afam IV&V, Ibom Power IPP, AES IPP and ASCO IPP.

Last Friday, when total generation stood at 3,142.1MW as of 6am, only four plants were idle, according to the system operator data.

Twenty-one of the nation’s 27 power plants could not generate 3,072.1MW as of 6am on Monday due to low load demand by the Discos (2,962.1MW) and line constraints (110MW).

The power stations were forced to either shut down some of their units or reduce their generation, worsening the blackout being experienced by millions of customers across the country.

 The national grid has recorded nine total collapses so far this year – four in January and one each in February, April, May, June and August.

The nation generates the bulk of its electricity from gas-fired power plants, while output from hydropower plants makes up about 30 per cent of the total.

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.

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on August 15 lamented the inability of the Discos to distribute available grid power to consumers, describing the distribution capacity in the 11 Discos as significantly low.

“Despite the availability of about 8,000MW of generation and about 7,000MW of transmission capacity, lack of Disco infrastructure to absorb and deliver grid power to end users has largely restricted generation to an average of about 4,000MW,” he said.

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.

The Federal Government said last month that it would open up the power market to new investors in generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure, transacting directly with one another to serve willing customers including deploying off-grid power and using micro-grids, especially for deployment of solar power.
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