Darkness looms as Nigeria’s power generation drops again

Nigeria’s total power generation dropped from 3,590MW as at Thursday, October 17, 2019, to 2,915.6MW on Friday, according to data from the Nigerian Electricity System Operator.

A report from the system operator showed that a total of 2,401.9MW generation capacity was idle on last Wednesday as a result of low load demand by DisCos while 115MW was unutilised because of line constraints.

Nine power plants, including five built under the National Integrated Power Project, did not generate any megawatt of electricity as at 6am on Wednesday.

The affected plants are Afam IV & V, Alaoji NIPP, Olorunsogo NIPP, Omotosho NIPP, Gbarain NIPP, Sapele NIPP, AES IPP and ASCO IPP and Trans-Amadi IPP.

Nigeria generates the bulk of its electricity from gas-fired power plants while output from hydropower plants makes up about 30% of the total.

The system operator put the nation’s installed generation capacity at 12,910.40MW; available capacity at 7,652.60MW; transmission wheeling capacity at 8,100MW; and the peak generation ever attained at 5,375MW.

Meanwhile, it would take not less than $100 billion, approximately N36 trillion, to enable stable power supply in Nigeria. This is according to the Electricity distribution companies (DisCos).

The DisCos said the N36 trillion worth of investments would be needed over a period of 20 years.

The DisCos disclosed that the investments would include over $10 billion (about N3.6 trillion) in distribution networks over the next 5 years.

The entire power supply value chain of the DisCos, according to them, would also gulp about $40 billion (about N14.4 trillion) over the next 20 years.

The DisCos would also have to invest about $4.2 billion in the interface project developed by the transmission network in furtherance of TCN’s expansion plan.

The need for electricity to be stable in the country cannot be over-emphasised. According to the November 2018 edition of the Monthly Business Expectations Survey Report of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the most compelling factor constraining businesses in Nigeria is insufficient power supply.

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