By Kelvin Alohan with Agency Reports
The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) wheeled out 22,978 megawatts of electricity between July 17 to July 23 against the 25,819 megawatts generated in the previous week.
Power generation dropped by 2,841 megawatts between the two periods.
The daily statistics of TCN operations obtained from the Nigerian Electricity System Operator (SO), a section of the TCN, showed that power generation between July 17 and July 23 was taken by 11 distribution companies.
According to the statistics, the daily power generation during the period were 3,227mw, 3,504mw, 3,285mw, 3,656mw, 3,579mw, 2,898mw and 2,829mw, respectively.
However, the daily distribution to distribution companies (DISCOs) between July 10 and July 16 were 3,511mw, 3,973mw, 3,915mw, 3,947mw, 3,3511mm, 3,487mw and 3,475mw, respectively.
The TCN indicated that the national peak demand forecast stood at 19,100.00mw, of which 11,165.40mw was the installed available capacity, 7,139.60mw was the available capacity, 7,000mw was current transmission capacity and network operational capacity of 5,500.00mw.
The peak generation ever attained in Nigeria was 5,074.7mw, while the maximum energy ever attained stood at 109,372.01mwh.
Mr Dada Thomas, the President of Nigerian Gas Association, said that the nationwide shortage of available natural gas supply was the most critical issue facing the Nigerian power sector.
Thomas said that his association, gas producers and investors in the country would be at ease if the natural gas shortage was checked at least in the short term.
According to him, the shortfall in natural gas supply, has been further worsened by pipeline vandalism.
Thomas said the problem was impacting on cost-reflective electricity tariffs, unworkable Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and over regulation of gas price.
He urged the Federal Government to take actions to resolve the problem and other challenges that had made further investments unattractive for gas producers, processors, pipelines and transportation companies.
Thomas said that the shortages, being witnessed over the years, would be trivial to the massive economic and social disruptions in future “if we fail to act now“.
Prof. Barth Nnaji, a former Minister of Power, expressed deep concern about the future of Nigeria’s power sector.
Nnaji said the environment was not attractive for investment that would help address various challenges in the industry.
Nnaji said that foreign investors were not willing to invest in the sector because the Federal Government had not addressed major issues that would guarantee good returns on investment.
He said that many projects had been stalled due to financial constraints and tariff issues.
According to him, the tariff must also reflect exchange rate movements since “attachment of tariff to currency movements and adjustments must be done”.
“Tariff review will also help DISCOs to recover costs and pay for gas.”
Nnaji also said that lack of industry deregulation and absence of proper legislation had discouraged investment because “it is the only deregulation that will allow investors to consider investment in gas production and transportation.’’
Recall that Mr Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, on July 5, said that the TCN would undertake 200 projects to improve power supply.
Fashola said at the Nigeria Energy Forum (NEF) in Lagos, that TCN was concentrating on completing the projects to ensure smooth transmission of energy to the national grid.
“Electricity is a very topical subject in the country; lack of it affects production, security, comfort and standard of education.
“If all of us will draw all energy needs from the grid, we will need over 13,000 Megawatts (MW), but unfortunately, the maximum we have from the grid is just 4,700MW,’’ Fashola said.