Following daunting challenges occasioned by lack of sustainable gas supply to thermal electricity generating plants in Nigeria, there will be a drop in the country’s national power generation capacity by 415 megawatts (MW).
The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), which made this disclosure last night, attributed the development to the shutdown of the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC) operated 240 metric million standard cubic feet per day (mmscf/d) Okoloma gas plant – the main supplier of gas molecules to Afam power plant.
While power generation currently hovers between 3500 to 4000MW, the Afam VI power plant contributes a good percentage of the country’s power generation capacity but instances of gas pipeline vandalism, insufficient gas supply to power plants and transmission constraints, have often resulted in constant hiccups in national power production.
TCN, in a statement, stated that the Okoloma gas plant would be closed for maintenance, thus leading to the drop. This also means that TCN will have just a little above 3000MW of power for transmission and subsequent distribution.
It also stated that a subsequent electricity load shedding across the country would be experienced for 10 days, starting from 6am today (Sunday).
“The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) wishes to inform the general public that due to unavoidable drop in the quantity of power available for TCN to transmit to the distribution companies, there will be nationwide load shedding for 10 days, from 6am, Sunday, 20th July to Wednesday, 30th July, 2014.
“The expected reduction in power generation will result from the shutdown of the 415MW Afam power plants, following routine maintenance work at the Okoloma gas plant, which supplies gas to Afam power plants”, the statement said.
It further said: “It is however expected that the power plant will commence generation on Thursday, July, 31st, 2014, when gas supply from Okoloma gas plant would have resumed. TCN regrets inconveniences to the federal government and our highly esteemed customers nationwide”.