In these times of challenge in the electric power sector, it is apt to present some facts to the general public in order to appreciate the nature of the challenge in the sector.
This piece comes in the form of posers:
Do you know that energy is the life blood of the nation and the fuel for economic development?
Do you know that the newly privatised generation companies have ramped up capacity from about 5,000MW at take over on 1st of November, 2013 to an installed capacity of 12,500MW?
Do you know that the generation companies have an available capacity of about 8,000mw?
Do you know that the transmission system can only transmit (transport) about 5,000mw?
Do you know that there is a gap of more than 2,000MW between generation and transmission infrastructural capability?
Do you know that the distribution network is only capable of absorbing about 4600 MW?
Do you know that there is a gap of more than 1,500MW between transmission and distribution infrastructural capability?
Do you know that there is a gap of nearly 4,000MW between generation and distribution capability?
Do you know that if all the gas needed were made available, Nigeria will have stranded generation of about 4,000MW?
Do you know that a stable grid means power generated by the Gencos has to be equal to the amount of power consumed by the customer as power cannot be stored?
Do you know that the cost of these to the economy is huge?
Do you know that the generation companies are willing and set to double their current generation capacities but cannot due to transmission, distribution and non-payment issues?
Do you know that due to poor liquidity/non-payment, most generation companies are shutting down for inability to pay gas companies’ demands for prepaid service?
Do you know that the generation companies are owed over N500 billion, covering November 2013 to December 2016 and that the Market Operator (MO) and the Nigerian Electricity Bulk Trading have no plans in place to pay them?
Do you know that the solutions are not far-fetched?
Do you also know that from privatisation to date, no noticeable technical improvement has occurred on the distribution infrastructure?
Do you know that due to sub-standard transmission and distribution system, generated power becomes rejected or forced to be reduced to match the infrastructure that distributes this power to the customer?
Do you know that Gencos have been operating under high frequency (48.75 – 52.20 hz), that is, ‘’outside the safe zone’’ against the normal 49.75 – 50.25 hz band as provided by the Grid code?
Do you know that high frequency is damaging the generating plants by causing:
- Increased rate of inspection and maintenance cycles due to increased Equivalent Operating Hour(EOH);
- Loss of revenue due to restrained generation;
- Partial or low utilization of plant resulting in uneconomical generation;
- Increased maintenance cost etc.
- Reduction in the plants lifespa
Do you know that it is only a matter of time for generation companies to run out of funds, which are used to maintain the generation capacities and also to produce the much needed energy for the nation?
Dr. Ogaji is the executive secretary of Association of Power Generation Companies