By Kunle KALEJAYE
There are indications that power generation in Nigeria may exceed 4,000 megawatts by June, sequel to the six-month ultimatum given by President Goodluck Jonathan to the Ministry of Power to ensure efficient generation, transmission and distribution of electricity across the country.
As it is, the target may be exceeded because the nation’s four hydro power stations, Kainji, Jebba, Shiroro, and Zamfara are expected to be at peak operation as a result of the rainy season.
At that period of the year, the water levels at River Niger, Kaduna River, and Bunsuru River are expected to increase, thereby enabling the plants to work at full capacities.
Kainji power station, the biggest hydro station in the country, during the rainy season generates 800 megawatts (MW), Shiroro 600MW, while Jebba and Zamfara generate 540MW and 100MW respectively.
As a result, power generation is expected to increase by 2,040MW during this period of the year.
Recall that in response to President Jonathan’s ultimatum, the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, said the current administration is keen on achieving an obvious result from the power sector reform.
He had therefore charged”… all the principal players to be committed to ensuring that power supply to our customers is significantly and visibly improved by June this year as already directed by Mr. President.
“Government will no longer tolerate any excuse of non-performance from any of the sector players from both the ministry particularly and our new private sector partners.”
After the rains
But the gains of the rainy season may be lost again afterwards, except the 10 National Independent Power Projects, NIPPs are completed on schedule.
Eight of these projects are open cycle gas turbine plants and the other two are combined cycle gas turbine plants. Below are the states of the plants:
The Alaoji Power Station in Abia State, has a combined cycle gas turbine with 1074MWs capacity but currently operating below capacity due to evacuation delays and securitization for Shell, according to Niger Delta Power Holding Company, NDPHC.
For Calabar and Egbema Power Stations (Simple cycle gas turbine), the plants are still under construction with 158MW and 138MW respectively.
Geregu II Power Station in Kogi state was completed in 2012, but commenced operation in the first quarter of 2013, contributing 434MW to the national grid.
For the Ibom Power Station, overall generating capacity is technically constrained by existing transmission and distribution facilities of PHCN and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), to only 60MW but has 190MW capacity.
Although the Ihovbor Power Station with 450MW capacity was scheduled to be completed between 2012 and 2013, but NDPHC said it can’t be launched due to delays in evacuation capacity.
The Olorunsogo II Power Station (675MW), although completed in 2012 is also working below capacity due to gas supply issues.
Furthermore, the 225MW Omoku II Power Station is still under construction, indicating that the contractor, Rockson Engineering failed to meet the 2013 completion deadline.
Built and operated by China Machinery Engineering Corporation, the Omotosho II Power Station with 450MW capacity was commissioned in 2013 by President Jonathan, but currently generates 375MW.