The Managing Director,Â Egbin Power Station, Ikorodu, Mr Jonathan Ogbonna, says the stationâ€s power generation has hit 500 mega watts. Ogbonna told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos that the improvement in power generation at the plant was due to the restoration of gas supply pipeline from Utorogu in Delta, which was vandalised early in August.
He said that the shortage of gas was the major problem of the station. Ogbonna explained that the plant was now using gas and Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO) in its power generation. NAN recalls that the Utorogu gas facility was shut down on Aug. 13, for repairs after the Escravos-Lagos gas pipeline was allegedly vandalised by militants. Ogbonna said that the station was built to primarily feed on natural gas, but had never received adequate supplies from the Nigerian Gas Company.
â€œThis compelled the management to resort to the use of Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO) as an alternative source of fuel for the plant. â€œTwo of the seven units at the plant are being operated on LPFO as back up,â€â€ he said. Ogbonna explained that the plant was also looking at other alternatives to improve its generation capacity.
He said that inadequate gas supply was hampering the plantâ€s generation, which he said, was now at about 500mw as against its installed capacity of 1,320mw. Ogbonna also said that various units at the plant were in dire need of being overhauled to enable the plant meet its installed generation capacity.
Reacting to the improvement in Egbin power generation, the General Manager (Public Affairs) of the PHCN, Mrs Efuru Igbo, said that the national power generation was now between 2,300mw and 2,500mw. Igbo explained that the nationâ€s power generation capacity had improved from 1,900mw to 2,500mw, following the restoration of the Utorogu gas supply pipeline. She said that national power generation had been hindered by frequent damages to gas pipelines and low water levels at the hydro and thermal stations. â€œThe Federal Government is taking the challenge of the poor gas supply situation with all seriousness.
The attainment of 6000mw generation capacity by December, 2009 is not negotiable and PHCN is working to meet the target,â€â€ she said. NAN recalls that the Minister of Power, Mr Olanrewaju Babalola, said while inspecting the Egbin Power Station on July 25, 2009 that the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP) would commence operations in the first quarter of 2010.
The NIPP projects, according to Babalola, are at various stages of completion, and are expected to contribute about 5,000mw to the national grid on completion. The Minister said that the Federal Government would develop coal power plants near large coal deposits, while solar and wind options would be considered as power generation sources, especially for rural areas not connected to the national grid.