The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has blamed the persistent power outages experienced in the country on recent drop in gas supply to power generation stations.
It fingered outright sabotage of some crucial gas pipelines which has significantly eroded available gas supply to the power plants.
Addressing a press conference on Monday, Andrew Yakubu, group managing director of the corporation, stated that as at weekend over 30 percent (480mmsf/d) of the installed gas supply capacity was out due mainly to vandalism.
Yakubu noted that the lost gas is the equivalent to the gas requirement to generate about 1,600 megawatts of electricity.
The NNPC listed the pipelines involved to include the Escravos-Warri stretch of the Escravos Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) which accounts for 190mmcf/d, the Trans-Forcados crude pipeline (230mmcf/d).
“The remaining supply shortfall is due to maintenance issues at Utorogu gas plant (60mmcf/d). The outage of the ELPS A pipeline has been on for over 6 months due to willful acts of vandalism at various locations between Escravos and Egwa location”, the NNPC boss said.
He stated that on June 25, 2013, an explosion rocked the ELPS and further investigation revealed that dynamite had been used on four ruptured points.
He noted that engineers from the Nigerian Gas Company were mobilised immediately to commence repair works but as repairs progressed, more points of rupture emerged.
“At the last count, 20 ruptured points have been identified, all due to deliberate dynamite explosion. NGC completed repairs in November and on commissioning in December, rapid pressure loss was experienced indicating further rupture in weakened locations. We have since effected repairs of these new points and re-commenced commissioning activities”, he said.
He noted that all things being equal, gas supply will be reinstated in the weeks ahead.
“The cumulative effect of the above interruptions is a real degradation of power supply to Nigerians.”