Nigeria’s power plants fail to keep pace with transmission expansions

Data released by the National Bureau of Statistics indicates that in the three months ending June 2017, Nigeria’s 25 power plants generated a paltry 2,503MW of electricity while the Federal Governments investments in Transmission infrastructure led to grid capacity of nearly 6000MW.

Within the period, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) commissioned a new 40MVA Transformer at its 132/33kV transmission sub-station at Mayo-Belwa in Adamawa State.

According to a statement from TCN, it is working with the Kaduna State government to build two new 330kV substations in Kaduna and Zaria and three additional 132kV substations at Rigasa, Kakau and Jaji as well as the reconstruction of the Kaduna-Kano 330kV SC transmission line.

TCN also worked on increasing the transformer capacity in its Ajah substation and successfully fixed a 60MVA 132/33kV power transformer which was successfully refurbished, installed and commissioned into service last month. This has brought the station’s transformer capacity, previously at 132kV level, to 220MVA. The TCN is also installing another 60MVA 132/33kV mobile power transformer in the same station to further increase transmission capacity in the area.

But the power plants did not fully utilise this capacity. “The power generation statistics for Q2 2017 reflected that a total average of 2,503 GWh of energy was generated by power stations as Egbin Power Plant contributed about 11.22 percent share of the average energy generated which represents the highest generation among the twenty-fivee (25) power plants within the period under review,” said the NBS.

Eighty percent of Nigeria’s power plants depend on gas as feedstock to generate power but many of the plants do not get regular supply. However, the NNPC is optimistic the situation could change. In the organisation’s Financial and Operations Report for May 2017, said the average Natural Gas supply to power plants of 729 million standard cubic feet of gas per day in May 2017 was 63.74 percent higher than the daily gas supply to the plants, during the same month in 2016.

Source: Business Day Online