Power Generation Hits 4,000 Megawatts

PowerElectricity supply through the national grid is now ramping up as it attains 4,387 megawatts peak generation as at Friday, March 4, 2016 with a prospect for further improvement in power supply situation.

The Head, Public Affairs Department at the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr. Usman Abba Arabi, said that this is following successful repair work on the damaged gas facility earlier in the week.

“It would be recalled that the peak generation level that notched epoch 5,070 megawatts few weeks ago suddenly nosedived due to inadequate gas supply on the main gas pipeline supplying many of the power stations.

“This was on account of gas supply shortage due to inability to evacuate condensates and oil produced with the gas because the main oil export pipeline out of Forcados was vandalized two weeks ago.

“However, with the successful repair work on the damaged facility, the system is now ramping up as it attains 4,387 megawatts peak generation as at Friday, March 4, 2016,” he said.

The acting Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr. Anthony Akah, has subsequently appealed to members of the public to cooperate with electricity industry operators and security agencies to stem the recent incident of vandalism on electricity installation.

He also warned the electricity distribution companies that the momentary downturn in supply should not be used to exploit unmetered electricity customers on estimated billing saying, “Customer bills for unmetered customers should be as accurate as possible and reflect their actual consumption. It shall in no circumstance be arbitrarily inflated.”

According to him, “The reduction in power supply when it lasted affects both metered and unmetered customers. For metered customers the drop in their consumption will be captured by their meter. For unmetered customers it is imperative that estimated bills during this period are reflective of their actual consumption.”

He further directed electricity distribution companies that unmetered and estimated customers have the right and option to pay current estimated electricity billing based on their last undisputed bill where there are concerns with the current estimated electricity bills.

He said that electricity distribution companies should ensure diligence and professionalism in the estimation of unmetered customers based on the provisions of the Billing Estimation Methodology Regulations, 2012.

He hinted that the Commission has deployed monitoring teams to report any act of negligence and extortion.

Power Minister Says Tariff Hike Will Attract Investment

FasholaThe Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, says the new electrify tariff is the first major decision that will attract needed investment in the sector.

Fashola’s comment in Lagos on Monday came just as the Nigeria Labour Congress the Trade Union Congress and their allies held nationwide protest against the tariff hike of 45 per cent.

“The question on the lips of everybody is; why can’t we have power first before we pay?

“I wish we could do that, but if they understood that power business is funded from finance from banks. So, no bank is going to lend money to you if you can’t show a recovery price.

“That is the reason we can’t have power first before tariff. It has to be produced before we have it and it has to be paid for.

“The supplier of gas is not going to supply unless he sees his cash,” the Minister explained.

On the protest by the unions, Mr Fashola urged them not to start a new fight, saying “we don’t need one”.

“In any event, there are part of the employee of all these DISCOs and GENCOs that are still working, so let’s get to productivity. Let’s stop fighting (and) let’s produce.”

On the level of electricity supply which the unions are insisting must improve before a new tariff is issued, the Minister said that the capacity Nigeria had in January had never been reached before.

“In the last week of January, we recorded all time high generation of 5,000mw. Nigeria has never reached that level of generation (and) we need a lot more.

“But even with that 5,000mw, there is a lot of service work that needs to go on so that people can access the power.

“So not paying for power, you are disrupting the system; diverting lines, you are disrupting the system; vandalising pipes, you are disrupting the system, you are cheating the system, it is part of anti-corruption (and) everybody must pay for what he uses.

After a meeting with operators in the power sector, the Minister also inspected a transmission facility under construction.

He urged the contractor to expedite action so that incremental supply could be experienced.

Lawmakers Investigate Fresh Hostilities In Niger Delta

gas pipeline vandalism in Niger DeltaThe House of Representatives Committee on Defence is to investigate the immediate causes of fresh hostilities in the Niger delta region of Nigeria.

The decision was taken on Thursday after lawmakers deliberated on a motion moved by Honourable Julius Pondi, regarding the recent destruction of petroleum facilities in the Niger delta.

Nigeria Gas Company’s pipeline connected to Chevron Nigeria Limited’s facility at Escravos in Delta State was attacked last week and its impact is beginning to reflect on other sectors of the Nigerian economy.

The House of Representatives is also urging the military high command to search for the perpetrators and also protect the innocent citizens in the area.

After the attack, the Ministry Power, Works and Housing said it would impact negatively on the Olorunsogo NIPP plant, with 600 megawatts capacity and other Power Plants.

Counting Losses

In a statement by the spokesman for the Minister, Hakeem Bello, the Ministry said that “the sabotaged gas pipeline, which contributes to the Escravos Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) has led to a loss of 160 million standard cubic feet per day of gas”.

Pipeline-vandalism
Military personnel at the site of one of the attacks in Delta State

Giving a breakdown of the effect of the attack, the Ministry said: “At a cost of $2.50 per thousand scf, this loss means about $400,000 loss to the country on a daily basis (N78,800,000 daily) in gas volume.

“This is in addition to losses to be incurred daily from affected Power generation ($1,988,223 or N391,680,000 daily). The total daily loss to the country is therefore estimated at N470,479,931.

“Repairs of the damaged pipeline is estimated as costing ($609,137 or N120,000.000)”.

The Ministry further stated that the real sector of the economy had also been counting its losses, as some cement companies around Olorunsogo like Ewekoro and Ibese were also affected.

In comments related to the attack, the Chief of Naval Staff said that the recent vandalism in Warri, Delta State was sabotage and terrorism and would not be tolerated by the Navy.

Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas made the statement on Wednesday at a lecture with participants of Course 24 of the National Defence College in Abuja, who came from various security agencies in Nigeria.

He said that a close inspection of the explosion revealed that the intention of the saboteurs was not to steal crude oil but to damage the oil facilities which infringes on a primary mandate of the Navy and would be taken seriously.

The attack had also affected petroleum product supplies, as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Wednesday announced the operational shutdown of the Port Harcourt and Kaduna Refineries owing to crude supply challenges arising from recent attacks on vital crude oil pipelines.

A statement by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Ohi Alegbe, said that the plants were shut simultaneously on Sunday after the Bonny – Okrika crude supply line to the Port Harcourt Refinery and the Escravos-Warri crude supply line to the Kaduna Refinery suffered breaches.

The NNPC stated that before the closure, the Port Harcourt Refinery was recording a daily PMS yield of over 4.1 million litres while Kaduna Refinery was posting a daily petrol production of about 1.3 million litres.

The investigation into the attack would possibly reveal the individuals or group behind the attack that has affected the nation’s already insufficient power supply, reduced the daily supply of petroleum product, with fears that the nation will go back to a period of petrol scarcity.