By Etuka Sunday
Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) has disclosed that there was no time in the history of this country that power exceeded 5000 megawatts as claimed by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola.
In a Press Briefing in Abuja on Tuesday, July 17, 2018, the Director, Research and Advocacy, ANED, Mr Sunday Oduntan faulted Fashola’s claim that generation of power has improved from 4,000 MW (approx) in 2015 to 7,000 MW(approx) in 2018.
Recall, Fashola while briefing the Press in Abuja on the progress so far made in generation, transmission and distribution post-privatization on Monday, July 9th, 2018 said, “generation of power has improved from 4,000 MW (approx) in 2015 to 7,000 MW(approx) in 2018 averaging an increase of 1,000 MW (approx) per annum and we expect to add 455 MW (Azura); 215 megawatts (Kaduna), 240 MW (Afam III); 40 MW (Kashimbilla); almost a total of 954 MW in 2018; and 700 MW (Zubgeru) 480 MW (Okpai II) about 1,150 MW projected for 2019, and the GENCOs are undertaking various repairs, rehabilitation and expansion that will bring on incremental power”.
However, in a swift reaction, ANED said, “like our customers, we believe that progress must be made in turning around a sector that was inefficiently operated for 62 years, prior to its handover to private investors.
“However, we do not understand the constant references to the increase of generation capacity to 7,000 MW, from 4,000 MW, for the period of 2015 to 2018, that has been used as the basis of defining the DisCos as incapable of taking on more power – the stranded 2,000 MW. A review of NERC’s “Daily Energy Watch” for January 28th, 2015 would indicate a generation availability of 6,421 MW (divided into peak of 4,230 MW and constrained energy of 2,191 MW).
“In other words, it is misleading to state that available generation has grown from 4,000 MW in 2015, as a measure of progress, given that a volume of generation slightly under 7,000 MW already or previously existed, prior to the beginning of this administration.
“Furthermore, there is no stranded 2,000 MW. While there is an available capacity of 7,000 MW, the best that can be generated, at this time, is 5,000 MW. This is because there is insufficient gas to power the thermal plants due to gas line limitations (for instance, the non-completion of the Oben pipeline) and the absence of a commercial framework that would encourage gas exploration.
“Generation that is constrained by gas amounts to an average 1,500 MW daily. Of note is that 25 out of 28 generation plants are fueled by gas. Transmission grid frequency, line limitation and water management make up the difference of the balance 500 MW of constrained generation. In simple terms, the often-advertised and pronounced DisCo limitation to take on 2,000 MW of additional generation is not consistent with the facts or reality. This, therefore, shows that very little has actually changed contrary to the Minister’s constant pronouncements.”
ANED said, ”while the DisCos acknowledge the government’s effort in seeking to reverse the fortunes of TCN, the hitherto weakest link in the NESI value chain, the reversal of 62 years of inefficiency and underfunding will not occur overnight. Nor will spacious pronouncements of a magical increase of TCN’s limited wheeling capacity change reality.
“In spite of TCN’s tested wheeling capacity of 5,500 MW, with the two historical generation peaks of 5,074 MW (February 2nd, 2016) and 5,222 MW (December 18th, 2017), only 4,577 MW and 4,265 MW was wheeled or transmitted, respectively.
“In simple terms, TCN has not wheeled energy in excess of 4,265 MW – ever! Please see the tables below.”
The Association said, “in a System Adequacy report authored by Market Operator/TCN (July 2017), it is stated that, “Transmission constraints frequently limited the power flows in the network. Generation in the south-east frequently had to be reduced due to local transmission constraints and due to constraints in the lines from the Benin towards Lagos areas. Whenever the availability of generation was high, the flow from Shiroro to Kaduna had to be limited to ensure that voltage stability would be maintained in operation.
“As a result, the power allocated to the northern DISCOs (according to MYTO) could frequently not be met. Furthermore, a redistribution of power to the southern DISCOs often failed, ultimately requiring the generation in the south-eastern network to be reduced.” The report further states, “Compared to international experience, the number of Forced Outages of transmission lines at all voltage levels was high and the availability relatively low. The same applied to transformers.”
“Further confirmation of the limitation of TCN is the 22 total systems collapses in 2016 and 6 partials; 15 total systems collapse and 9 partial meltdowns in 2017; and six times in the first eight days of 2018 alone. As such, there certainly is a need for the government’s increased focus on strengthening the grid, for the required alignment of the NESI energy supply chain.
“However, such strengthening of the grid must be in tandem with the DisCos’ expansion plans rather than a haphazard design and implementation of projects, resulting in the waste of taxpayer, donor and multilateral institution funds”, ANED said.