Following the recent improvement that the Nigerian Power sector has experienced in power generation, the sector has suffered a loss of 2,746 WM and N34.60 billion, in the month of March. The 2,746 WM power loss is actually an improvement when compared to the 4,276mw loss that was recorded in February, but the opposite is the case for the N34.6 billion monetary loss that the sector incured in March when compared to the N24.04 billion that was suffered in February. March was not very favourable for the power sector in terms of supply as it was recorded that supply improved drastically on February 27 when it exceeded 4,300MW and dropped below 3,000MW on March 4, which was the lowest since February 8 when generation hit the lowest for the month of February and March. These losses were recorded to have been due to system collapse and gas constraints, according to the daily operational report of the Nigerian Electricity System Operation. Even in the face of these losses faced by the sector, there are some indications that things might get worse as Egbin Power Station is on the brink of shutdown following insufficient gas to fire the six-unit capacity plant and debt cumulation. Egbin Power Plc has the biggest power plant in Nigeria and one of the biggest single power generating stations in Africa and as such, a shutdown in their operations will be detrimental to the country’s power supply. The company recently threatened to shut down operations due to non-settlement of debt, accruing to about N100 billion, inadequate gas supply and inefficiency in operations of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
Managing Director of Egbin Power Plc, Mr Dallas Peavey, said that the country may experience blackout in April as liquidity, transmission and gas supply issues threatened its operations. The sector bodies have been trading blames over this decline in power generation and supply. The generation and distribution companies have blamed poor supply on gas shortages and grid instability caused by weak transmission infrastructure while the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) blamed the Discos for rejecting power allocated to them. However, gas suppliers have argued that there is enough gas to generate power but that the generation companies cannot pay for gas. But the Gencos have insisted that they are not able to pay for gas because they are being owed for the power they generated into the National Grid.