Gas shortage, transmission hitches threaten power supply – Investors

No Comments » January 8th, 2014 posted by // Categories: Energy Development Project



 

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Gas shortage, transmission hitches threaten power supply – Investors

JANUARY 9, 2014 BY OKECHUKWU NNODIM

Private sector investors in the power generation and distribution companies on Wednesday said President Goodluck Jonathan’s directive to improve electricity supply across the country by June was being threatened by the inefficiency of the Transmission Company of Nigeria and inadequate supply of gas to thermal power generation plants.

The President had, through the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, given a marching order to the firms and key stakeholders in the sector to, as a matter of urgency, ensure visible supply of electricity across the country by June while inaugurating the Board Chairman of the TCN in Abuja on Tuesday.

Reacting to the directive, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Geregu Power Plc, Mr. Adeyemi Adenuga, told out correspondent that there were already strategic moves by the investors to meet the deadline.

He said, “There will be improved power supply by June, especially for the Gencos; we expect that most of the vandalised pipelines would have been repaired and more gas will be available for us to run most of our units by then.

“Hopefully, more of the Niger Delta power plants will also come up. And with all of that, more of the units will come in and we will be able to generate more power. So, it is quite feasible and very possible for the deadline to be met.”

Adenuga said before now, the country was generating around 3,000 megawatts “but as of yesterday (Tuesday), we have started generating well over 4,000MW. So, power generation is coming up.”

Asked if the TCN was well positioned to efficiently evacuate the power generated to the Discos, he said, “For now, the company can take the amount of power generated, and as you know, they are expanding. In fact, as I am talking to you, right here where we operate, they’ve just inaugurated the line from Ajaokuta to Abuja, and this will help to reduce the load on the older lines.

“We also have some lines between Benin, Onitsha and Aba that they are putting in double circuits in order to strengthen that area so that the power from the East and also from the West can move easily.”

Adenuga said transmission works were ongoing in the North too, adding that everything was working together to make Nigerians enjoy improved power supply.

“It may not be perfect, but at least there will be significant improvement,” he added.

Explaining what impact the supply of gas would have on power supply, Adenuga said, “In our station, we have three thermal units and we are only running one. The Geregu 2, which is owned by the Niger Delta people, has three units and we are only running one.

“But by the time they get more gas, you can imagine what power generation will be. Only from this side, we are talking of extra 500MW, and if you add this to the system before June when more gas is made available, power supply will be greatly improved upon.”

The Managing Director, Kano Electricity Distribution Company, Mr. Jamili Gwamna, said most Discos were set to meet the deadline as they had already started recording considerable successes in distributing the quantum of power transmitted to them by the TCN.

He said, “We have to look at the generation, transmission and distribution systems before you can talk of stable power supply. There must be an improvement in power generation, transmission, and of course, distribution. For the distribution companies, I don’t think there is much problem with respect to that deadline.”

 

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