How inefficient power management system is crippling economy
by OLUSOLA BELLO
June 18, 2018 | 7:35 pm| | | Start Conversation
Inefficient management in Nigeria’s power sector has, in recent times, led to nationwide blackouts and generated a lot of criticism from consumers and other stakeholders.
This has also shown that the problem of the power sector is not only about technical issues but also about how those entrusted with the management of the system govern it.
This has reinforced calls by concerned groups and individuals that the transmission company of Nigeria should not be left in the hands of the government officials that would not mind or know the implication of their inefficient handling of situations that would have impacted on electricity value chains and, by extension, on the economy in general.
For a private operator who understands the value of money and time, the type of situation consumers of power were put through recently would not have occurred.
If not, how does one explain the complete disregard of the notice of intention from the Nigeria Gas Company by the TCN that it wanted to effect repairs on one of its gas pipelines that supply gas to about five power stations were not informed before they were asked to ramp down on very short notice.
This also calls to question the ability of TCN to plan for emergency situations as there was no effective planning by TCN to forestall the current crises, given the fact that the National Gas Company (NGC) communicated the notice of its intention to carry out temporary repairs.
Due to the NGC pipeline incident, TCN said that six (6) thermal power generating stations are currently unable to generate electricity and have therefore been shut down. The affected power stations include the Ihovbor, Azura, Omotosho gas, Geregu gas, Olorunsogo gas, Sapele and the Egbin Power Station which has managed to generate 60MW only on each of its units, losing a total of 211MW.
Also, Afam VI power station was shut down so that Shell Oil Company can resolve its gas well issues to enable it commence gas supply to Afam VI power station.
According to Ndidi Mbah, general manager public affairs, with a total loss of 1,087.6MW into the grid, the transmission system has become quite fragile and that TCN is working hard to avert a collapse of the system, by engaging in load-shedding.
Load-shedding, she explained, is to ensure that available generation is commensurate with what is allocated to discos nationwide, to create a balance and avert grid
The TCN was however quickly put to task over the situation by the Power generation companies (Gencos) which demanded full disclosure from the TCN on the blackout being experienced in the country.
The companies speaking through its spoken person, Joy Ogaji executive secretary, Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC) demanded clarification from TCN on the true position / state of Power Supply during the long weekend / Eid Malud holiday marking the end of one Month of Ramadan.
The APGC faulted the position of TCN on the total grid collapsed and required additional clarification from agency based on what it described as available facts.
The Gencos scribe said that it want clarification on the followings; (a) How does it, TCN, explain the instruction from National Control Center (NCC), an arm of Transmission Company of Nigeria, to Power Generation Companies not on the Escravos –Lagos Pipeline Service (ELPS) and hydro power companies to ramp down – meaning that they should shut down their operations possibly because of shortage of gas supply to the power plants.
While it could be understood that those power plants being served by ELPS can be asked to ramp down, it is however not clear why other plants that are not serviced by the same pipeline, and hydro power plants be asked to shut down thereby creating general blackout in the country.
In other climes someone must take responsibility for this horrible misdemeanour on the side of TCN because people’s businesses have been shut down with unquantifiable amount of financial losses.
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