Power: Gas shortage persists despite pipeline repairs

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gas pipelineThough gas supply to the power plants has improved following the restoration of the Escravos-Lagos Gas Pipeline System, about 2,326.3 megawatts of available power generation capacity is still not utilised due to constraints in the gas supply chain.

Power generation statistics obtained by our correspondent on Tuesday revealed that the available installed capacity as of Sunday, February 9, 2014 was 6,972.5MW, while the peak generation stood at 4,064.1MW, and the off-peak generation was 3,341.2MW.

Last week, power generation revolved around 3,500MW from the 6,668.6MW available capacity due largely to gas shortage.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation blamed inadequate gas supply to the power plants on increased pipeline vandalism and sabotage.

The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, had said over 30 per cent of the installed gas supply capacity was shut out as a result of vandalism.

He added that the lost gas was equivalent to what was required to generate about 1,600MW of electricity.

After weeks of gas-induced power outages, the Escravos-Lagos Gas Pipeline System was restored and the acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Dr. Omar Farouk, said about 200 million cubic feet per day of gas would be re-injected into the power generation system as a result.

According to him, the repair of the ELPS will enable the NNPC to inject about 430 mmcf/d of gas into the national gas grid for the generation of about 1,505MW of electricity daily.

In spite of this, our correspondent learnt that 2,326.3MW of the available generation capacity had been unutilised across 10 power stations in the country due to gas constraint.

With an installed available capacity of 1,000MW, the Egbin Power Plant was on Sunday down to 915MW, losing 85MW due to low gas pressure.

The Sapele National Integrated Power Project plant and the Olorunsogo NIPP plant with 360MW and 480MW installed available capacity, respectively, were down to zero generation on Sunday.

The National Control Centre, Osogbo, Osun State, said two of Sapele’s units were out due to high condensate in gas, while the two others were down due to other reasons.

The GT1-3 and ST1 at the Olorunsogo plant were also said to be out due to gas constraints.

Similarly, the NCC said the Geregu plant, with an installed capacity of 435MW, could only generate 90MW, losing 345MW to gas constraint.

The Omotosho plant has an installed capacity of 480MW but could only generate 110.2MW on Sunday, losing 369.8MW as a result of gas constraint.

The Ihovbor, Geregu, Olorunsogo and Omotosho power plants lost 133MW, 294MW, 57.2MW and 69.6MW on Sunday due also to gas constraint.

The AES Barges power plant could only generate 107.3MW from its installed capacity of 240MW on Sunday because four of its units were out due to gas constraint.

About 80 per cent of the power plants in the country are gas-fired, but pipeline vandalism has continued to frustrate regular supply of gas to them.

But the NNPC promised improved gas supply to the power plants following the completion of repair works on some of the pipelines.

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