Gas Shortage Cripples Power Plants in Nigeria’s Southwest Region

Gas Shortage Cripples Power Plants in Nigeria’s Southwest Region

All the power plants in the South-west are non-functional as a result of gas constraints, the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) has said.

NDPHC Managing Director, Mr. Chiedu Ugbo, said on Thursday at an online event organised by “Electricity Power Hub,” that the situation had worsened in the last one month as a result of declining gas supply to the facilities.

The federal government also stated that it is revving up plans to sell an additional five power plants before the end of 2021.

The NDPHC’s power assets are jointly owned by the federal, state and local governments.

Aside from the ones in the South-west, Ugbo also named some other power plants in the South-south that have not been working due to gas supply constraints.

“Geregu was on this morning but from the information I got, it had to be shut down. They said it was due to decaying gas pressure on the line. That has been the story, but it got worse in the last month.

“Geregu is not running today; Omotosho is not running; Olorunsogo is not operational, Sapele is down and of course, Ihovbor is not running. All the power plants, except Ihovbor, have evacuation facility from NDPHC power stations to the network,” he added.

According to him, while the total installed capacity in the country is 13,000MW, the country is generating over 5,000MW.

He stated that the Azura power, which has been sharing transmission facility around the area with the NDPHC has reduced the ability of the company to evacuate what it produces.

He said there were always fluctuations within the system because even when the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), was operating, it had issues with frequency as a result of what he described as low rotation.

“Demand fluctuates in a very ridiculous manner. That’s why the system operator directs us to shut down many times in a day. We have gas for Calabar, Alaoji and Gbarain, but we do not have gas at all for any of the power plants in the South-west.

“We need about 560 mmscfd there. We were only able to get 60 mmscfd from Chevron there, but they are not obliged to give us. They only give us when they think it’s convenient for them,” he said.

He said since the first budgetary allocation to the NDPHC between 2007-2009, there has been no other monies from the government, whether federal or state.

He added that NDPHC operations have been largely managed from the revenue it gets from the industry for dispatching electricity.

Ugbo stated that till today, the company still has a credit of about N150 billion from the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company Limited (NBET). He expressed the hope that when the privatisation is completed the NDPHC will be better funded.

In his contribution, Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) Mr. Alex Okoh, said the federal government was fast-tracking its efforts to sell five more power plants.

He described the last privatisation effort as the biggest power sector privatisation ever, adding that it was over-ambitious.

According to him, perhaps, the government should have adopted a different graduated or phased approach to the reform of such a complex sector.

Okoh said last October, the federal government concluded the sale of Afam power for N105 billion.

“We are in the process of restarting a fresh transaction and it will be a competitive bid and we are going to advertise for five out of the 10 power plants, which are Geregu, Olorunsogo, Omotoso, Benin and Calabar.

“These are the plants with the least problems and as a result of that, they are considered to be the most viable and likely to be the most successful. We have started the process and we will be advertising for the expression of interest shortly,” he said.

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