Power generation drops to 900MW

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Power generation drops to 900MW

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By Obinna Ezeobi and Atser Godwin, Abuja

Published: Thursday, 3 Jul 2008

Power supply has declined drastically across the country; with overall power generation capacity hovering around 900 mega watts for the whole country.

At peak performance, the Power Holding Company of Nigeria generates about 3,000MW, which is grossly inadequate and results in constant outages.

However, the general poor state of power supply deteriorated in the past one week with some parts of Lagos said to have gone without power supply for up to five consecutive days.

Abuja has also been badly affected, with power supply to parts of the city now at its lowest levels in years.

A blackout at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos on Tuesday disrupted flight operations for several hours.

A source in the Power Holding Company of Nigeria who spoke with one of our correspondents in Abuja confirmed that total power generation on Monday by the utility company had declined below 900 mega watts.

According to the source who preferred anonymity, “Only few states have power right now because if all states are to share from the current supply, the system will collapse.”

Our correspondent gathered that the situation was compounded by the fact that AES, the privately owned thermal power company located in Lagos was out of operation.

He said, “AES which normally adds 300MW is undergoing turnaround maintenance. So about 300MW is out.”

The source added that the matter was compounded by the fact that the hydro stations, which were expected to have reached their peak performance following the rains, were yet to do so.

Officials of PHCN told our correspondent in May that the hydro stations would reach their peak performance in July and improve the power supply.

The source further stated that the perennial shortage of gas had continued, even though the Federal Government through the Ministry of Energy had continually claimed that it was addressing it through the Gas Supply Obligations, which it gave to the major oil companies operating in the country.

When our correspondent tried to contact senior officials of the power sector to explain the crisis, they refused to pick their calls and did not reply text messages sent to their phones.

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