Seven power plants down as electricity supply worsens

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Minister-of-Power-Prof-Chinedu-Nebo-360x225

At least seven power plants in the country are currently not producing electricity as a result of gas shortage, multiple faults as well as ongoing maintenance and rehabilitation works.

As of Tuesday, two hydro, three National Integrated Power Projects and two Independent Power Project stations were down with zero contribution to the national grid, thereby worsening electricity supply across the country.

Information obtained by our correspondent from the National Control Centre, Osogbo, Osun State, and the Transmission Company of Nigeria on Tuesday indicated that the Kainji and Shiroro Hydro Power plants were currently down.

Though the Kainji plant has an installed capacity of 760 megawatts and an available capacity of 100MW, it is currently shut as a result of multiple faults affecting eight of its units.

According to the NCC, varying degrees of rehabilitation and faults are responsible for the shutdown of Kanji’s 1G5, 1G7, 1G8, 1G9 and 1G10 units.

“The 1G6 unit was already out for rehabilitation since December 6, 2013 and is expected back on December 31, 2014. The 1G11 unit of the plant was shut down on emergency due to abnormal noise in the unit, while the 1G12 unit is out for rehabilitation,” the NCC said.

Similarly, the 600MW Shiroro hydro plant is out due to ongoing repairs and overhaul that is expected to end today (Wednesday).

The installed available capacity at Shiroro as of Monday, January 26, 2014 was 450MW, but it could only do 300MW before it was later shut the same day.

The General Manager, Public Affairs, TCN, Mrs. Seun Olagunju, said the shutdown of the plant became necessary so as to allow the engineering maintenance crew to rectify a ground fault on the station’s carbon dioxide control panel.

“During the period, grid generation will reduce by 300MW, hence the nationwide load shedding. The impact of the load shedding will be higher in the northern part of the nation, especially Kano, due to voltage instability issues previously affecting power supply in that area,” she said.

Also, the Sapele NIPP is totally out due to gas constraints, loading problems and civil work on its basement. Despite its 507.6MW installed capacity, the plant can only account for 250MW available capacity.

According to the NCC, the 1,131.4MW Alaoji NIPP has also been shut. Its GT1 unit was shut following a water injection test, while the GT2 unit was shut after a 72-hour performance test.

Specifically, the NCC also said the 500MW Olorunsogo NIPP plant was similarly out due to gas constraints and maintenance routine after a commissioning test.

It said the GT1-3 and ST1 units of the plant were out due to gas constraints; the ST3 unit was shut after a commissioning test; and the GT4 unit was down for maintenance purpose.

The 150MW Omoku IPP has not been generating to the grid due to collapsed towers on the Omoku/Port Harcourt Mains 132kV line.

In a similar vein, the NCC revealed that the Trans-Amadi IPP had its GT1 and 3 units out as a result of faults, while its GT2 and 4 units tripped due to “reverse power.”

The power supply situation in the country has gone from bad to worse since the former Power Holding Company of Nigeria’s assets were handed over to private investors.

Gas shortage has been the major cause of epileptic electricity supply in the country.

For instance, the country’s unutilised generation capability as of 6am on Monday, January 27, 2014 was put at 3,198.9MW.

The peak generation, according to the Presidential Task Force on Power, stood at 3,212.10MW on Sunday, January 25, 2014.

The peak generation on Monday was 3,600MW, while the lowest generation on the same day was 2,953MW.

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