Nationwide blackout looms

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Electricity generation companies have threatened to shut down power plants across the county if the federal government fails to intervene in the challenges troubling them.

In a statement on Monday, Joy Ogaji, executive secretary of the Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC), the umbrella body for the GenCos, said the decline in available generation is due to various challenges experienced by its members in the electricity market.

Ogaji said  the challenges include gas constraints, on-going maintenance of power plants and low demand by electricity distribution companies (DisCos).

“Available generation capability experienced a drop due to various factors such as Gas constraints, on-going maintenance by some gas suppliers and Low load demand by Distribution Companies (DisCos) which resulted in reduced generation or outage of some power plants,” the statement read.

“For instance; Afam power Plc (Afam VI Gas/Steam),GT12, 13 and ST10 power plants were shut down for a period of about 16 days due to a planned maintenance that was carried out by the gas suppliers on their facilities. Although Afam power Plc was duly notified about the maintenance, it resulted in a reduction of Afams available generation capability from about 490MW to 0MW.

“Also within this period, most of the NIPP’s suffered from various gas constraints, for example Alaoji NIPP, Sapele NIPP, Olorunsogo NIPP, Omotosho NIPP, etc. Some of the companies’ generation capability dropped to 0 due to the outage of their power plants which was as a result of gas constraints. Case in point was Aloaji NIPP whose supply was cut off by their gas suppliers due to their inability to pay for their gas.

“Jebba Power plant generation capability reduced by about 110MW to 360MW due to low load demand. This reduction demand was also suffered by Egbin Power plant and FIPL-Omoku.

“The decline was not an act of rebellion by the GENCOS neither was it deliberate but was beyond their control. It can be traced to the various challenges experienced by the GENCOS in the electricity market such as liquidity issues, power rejection by the DisCos and Gas constraints due to the sorry state of the market.

“This should serve as a wake-up call to the federal government to the on-goings in the industry with regards to the GENCOS and if the actions are not taken by the necessary agencies, GENCOS will be forced to shut-down business.”

In August 2018, the GenCos threatened to shut down plants over the inability of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to transmit available volume of electricity generated into the national grid.

-TheCable

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