• Thursday, February 29, 2024
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BusinessDay

Gencos to get more gas to boost power supply

Electricity-plant

There is promise of another bout of improved power generation across the country as more gas is expected to be deployed to the power sector by the end of this month when the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is expected to have concluded all its gas infrastructure maintenance work.

Informed industry sources say some of the gas infrastructure that would have undergone thorough maintenance work include Utorogu gas plant, Ecravos-Lagos pipeline, Oben-Ajaokuta-Geregu Gas Pipeline System, Obigbo gas plant, Itoikin-Olorunsogo pipelines, Ajaokuta-Calabar pipeline and QIT ExxonMobil.

BusinessDay further learnt that by the time this round of maintenance work is fully completed, gas supply to the power plants would be stepped up significantly, while power generation would go beyond the current generation level, which is put at about 4,044 megawatts (MW).

It was further gathered that the NNPC management decided it would use the whole of August and September to attend to the maintenance of all its gas infrastructure, as against the usual practice doing it in instalment, because the latter method delivered minimal gas supply.

“This time around we are doing the maintenance work almost at the same time so that the impact of the exercise would be such that the power sector would get substantial gas supply,” an NNPC source said.

But when David Ige, the group executive director, gas and power, Nigerian National Petroleum Development (NNPC), was asked to comment on this development, he said, “We are trying to see that the infrastructure are properly maintained so that they can perform optimally.”

A source in the Ministry of Power also told BusinessDay that the generation level was expected to continue to improve as more gas was being supplied and incentives were being given to gas producers to produce more.

Reacting to the recently improved power situation, Frank Edozien, special assistant to the minister of power on gas, said the combined efforts of the government and the private sector had led to the current achievement, assuring that the parties involved in the power business would sustain the tempo and improve on it.

He said with the co-operation of Diezani Alison-Madueke, minister of petroleum resources, gas supply to the power generation companies had been stepped up.

“The government has put in place short-term measures that would ensure steady gas supply to the power plants for the generation of electricity,” he said, adding that there had been elaborate steps to bring about sustainable gas supply and ensure steady power supply.

BusinessDay investigations revealed that the Egbin power plant is now generating 529 MW, even though it has the capacity to generate 1,320 MW at full capacity. Sapele generates 72 MW, Sapele (NIPP) 114 MW, Delta 356 MW, Afam 4 and 5 106 MW, Geregu (Gas) 136 MW, Geregu (NIPP) 200 MW, Olorunsogo (Gas) 198 MW, and Olorunsogo (NIPP) 157 MW.

Others include Omotosho (Gas) 141 MW, Omotosho (NIPP) 86.5 MW, Ihvobor 180 MW, Okpai 467 MW, Afam VI 422 MW, Ibom Power 10 MW, and EAS 19.17 MW.

As for the performance of the hydro power stations, Shiroro currently generates 417 MW, Jebba 440 MW, and Kainji 146.63 MW.

With the recent privatisation of the power sector and ongoing reforms designed to encourage investment in power generation capacity from the existing 6,000 MW installed capacity to 40,000 MW by 2020, demand for gas is expected to grow from 1.8 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) in 2012 to 7.2 bcfd in 2025, an increase of 11.3 percent per annum.

Olusola Bello