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10 power plants go idle amid low demand from Discos, gas constraints

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10 power plants representing more than one third of the 29 Nigerian power plants were inactive on Monday by reason of dearth of gas supply and weak demand from electricity distribution companies (Discos), data from the Nigerian Electricity System Operator showed.

Nigeria’s total generated power had tumbled from 4,354.7 megawatts (mw) on Sunday to 4,112.10 mw as of 6am on Monday while the generation capacity of 2,126.5 mw remained unused on account of load rejection by Discos as well as shortage of gas.

The dormant power plants comprised Gbarain, Olorunsogo II, ASCO, Alaoji, Egbin ST6, AES, Afam IV &V, Ihovbor, Rivers IPP and Omotosho II.

The power sector of Africa’s largest economy posted a loss in the sum of N972 million on 2nd January alone because of challenges in distribution and transmission infrastructures and the obstacles faced in getting gas to power plants, said the advisory power team of the Office of the Vice President on Sunday.

In a recent disclosure, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission affirmed that Discos would be made to pay capacity charge as penalty for the inability to take the full load apportioned to them as a result of the inefficiencies in their own networks.

Read also: 16 power plants lift power generation to 4,312 megawatts

Government-owned Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) is in charge of sharing load among Discos, who sell electricity to end-users.

“Where it is established that the TCN is unable to deliver load allocation, the TCN shall be liable to pay for the associated capacity charge,” the regulator added.

The bulk of the electricity Nigeria produces comes from gas fired power plants, which contribute 86 per cent, with hydro sources contributing the rest. Jebba, Dadin Kowa, Shiroro and Kainji make up the nation’s hydropower plants.

Nigeria’s installed generation capacity is 12,954.40 mw, while the available capacity stands at 7,652.60 mw and transmission wheeling capacity at 7,300 mw.

Generated power has never gone beyond 5,520.4 mw.

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