News - March 8, 2022

Real reason behind current poor electricity generation, nationwide load shedding, says TCN

Warns load shedding will persist unless solutions are found to gas supply constraints, faulty units, and technical problems within generating plants causing persistent low generation and low load allocation to DISCos

By Bassey Udo

The current poor electricity generation and load shedding experienced by consumers nationwide is as a result of very low power generation by power generation companies (GENCOs), the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has clarified.

The transmission company said the very low power generation by the GENCOs for TCN has made it difficult to wheel enough electricity through the national transmission grid to the power distribution companies (DISCos) nationwide.

This is contrary to recent media reports that the current load shedding of electricity supply being experienced by consumers nationwide was because TCN reduced the load allocation to DISCos.

“That information is incorrect. The correct position is that TCN can only transmit the quantum of power generated by GENCOs through the national grid to distribution load centres nationwide,” TCN clarified in a statement by its spokesperson, Ndidi Mbah, on Tuesday in Abuja.

“For clarity, TCN does not generate electricity and therefore can only transport cumulative generation from all the generation companies nationwide to distribution load centres. The distribution companies are responsible for end-users consumption. TCN allocates power to distribution companies based on approved percentage (formula approved by NERC (Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission), of the total generation available per hour or on day-ahead nomination,” Mbah added

She said at the moment, the cumulative electricity generation nationwide is very low, with the GENCOs attributing it to several factors, including poor gas supply by the gas producers, fault in power generating units of the GENCOs, scheduled and unscheduled plant maintenance, causing most GENCOs to either limit their generation, or not generating power at all.

Mbah said a summary of the power generating profiles of the various plants in the last two months showed that 14 gas powered electricity generating stations were either not generating at all or had limited generation at various times within the period.

The situation, Mbah noted, further depleted the quantum of power generation available for transmission by TCN into the narional grid on a daily basis.

She identified power generating stations in this category to include units 5 and 6 in Omotosho power plant; units 3, 4 and 6 in Olorunsogo; units 3 and 6 in Omoku; units 3 and 4 in Omotosho NIPP; units 15, 17, and 18 in Delta; units 11 and 12 in Afam VI; unit 3 in Olorunsogo NIPP; unit 2 in Ihovbor NIPP; unit 3 in Sapele Steam; unit 1 in Sapele NIPP; units 1 and 3 in Odukpani NIPP, and units 11, 12 & 18 in Okpai plant.

Also, within the same period, Mbah said Jebba Hydro and Shiroro Power Generating Stations were either not functioning, or had limited generation, causing additional loss of about 232MW from the national grid.

Besides,other power generating plants, such as units 3 and 4 in Omotosho; units 1 in Olorunsogo; units 10 and 20 in Delta; unit 13 in Afam VI, unit 4 in Ihovbor NIPP; units 22 and 23 in Geregu NIPP and units 2, 4 and 5 in Odukpani NIPP, have also either been faulty, or out for scheduled maintenance, causing a further loss of about 3,180MW from the grid.

“A combination of the above scenarios have persisted and the total effect on the national grid is persistent low generation, which TCN Operators have had to strive to dispatch in a way that will not jeopardize the stability of the grid,” Mbah said.

More recently, between March 1st and 4th, the TCN spokesperson said there was generation shortfall due to water management in Shiroro and Jebba hydro with the loss of 307MW and 125MW respectively from both stations.

Within the same period, she said there were faults and technical problems in Egbin, causing 514 MW shortfall and in Geregu causing 230 MW shortfall, while reported fault at Alaoji NIPP reduced generation from the substation by 263 MW.

She said gas supply constraint alone in Olorunsogo gas generating plant reduced generation from the station by 104 MW, in the same vein, Omotosho gas lost 102 MW and Sapele NIPP lost 263 MW.

Again, in Omotosho NIPP, she said there was power generation shortfall of 233 MW and in Omoku a shortfall of 112 MW, while two units in Okpai IPP also limited power generation due to technical problems, causing a 204 MW drop in generation and in Afam VI 511 MW drop in generation.

In addition, Gas constraint and fault in Olorunsogo NIPP reduced generation by 240 MW, Geregu NIPP by 435 MW, and Ihovbor by 142 MW.

Also, due to gas pipeline pigging, Odukpani NIPP was shutdown, causing a reduction of generation by 575 MW.

TCN said a combination of issues ranging from gas supply constraints, faulty units, and technical problems within generating plants caused persistent low power generation and low load allocation to Distribution Companies nationwide.

“This is based on the fact that TCN can only transmit what is being generated by GENCOs, and presently they are all generating below capacity.

“It is important to note that except cumulative power generation increases considerably for TCN to transmit to distribution companies nationwide, TCN will be left with no choice than to continue to load shed.

“We will however continue to work hard to ensure the efficient allocation of the total load generated by power generating stations into the grid, bearing in mind the need to ensure that the national grid is stable, in spite of the challenges posed by insufficient load on the transmission grid,” Mbah

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