By MICHAEL EBOH
Nigeria’s power situation worsened, yesterday, as Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, shut down its 624 Mega watts Afam VI power plant.
Shell, in a statement by Mr. Tony Okonedo, Corporate Media Relations Manager, said the shutdown was due to shortage of gas arising from the closure of the Trans Niger Pipeline, TNP, as a result of crude oil theft-related leaks.
Prior to the shut down, he disclosed that the power plant was only supplying 105 Mega watts of electricity to the national grid, due to insufficient gas supply.
According to him, the shutdown of the TNP system, comprising the 28-inch and 24-inch streams, resulted in the deferment of 150,000 barrels of oil per day, and also led to tank tops and non-evacuation of condensate from Okoloma Gas Plant, which supplies Afam VI power plant with feed gas.
He expressed concern about the negative impact of incessant crude theft activities on lives and environment in the Niger Delta region, and also the loss of electricity to businesses and households across the country.
He said: “SPDC had to shut down Okoloma Gas Plant as it could not continue to produce gas without the evacuation of condensate.
“Afam VI power plant was available at 624Mw capacity, but supplying only 105Mw to the national grid due to reduced gas volume at the time of shutdown.
“The latest leak on TNP occurred on the 24-inch stream at Owokiri on July 11. A joint investigation visit comprising government agencies, community and civil society representatives and SPDC personnel found that unknown persons had installed a 6-inch crude theft valve on the facility.
“SPDC repaired that leak, and is working to remove other crude theft points that were discovered in the process. The 28-inch TNP had earlier been shut in for removal of similar oil theft connections.
“The company is striving to repair the TNP as quickly as possible, and restore operations that will enable power generation to resume at Afam VI.”
Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, had a couple of days ago put the power generating capacity of the country’s power plants at 2,290Mw, blaming it on the vandalisation of two major gas pipelines supplying gas to eight power generating stations across the country.
According to TCN, the affected plants are Egbin/AES Thermal Stations, Olorunsogo, Omotoso, Geregu NIPP, Afam IV and VI Thermal Power Stations and Rivers State Independent Power Station, which resulted in drastic reduction of power supply by 1,598Mw.