By Ediri Ejoh
There are indications of possible blackout across the country soon, as electricity Generating Companies (GENCOs) have threatened to shut down their plants over what they described as frequency decay due to inefficient grid management and associated costs.
In a document signed by Executive Secretary, Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC), Dr. Joy Ogaji, sighted by Vanguard, narrating the load shedding and power fluctuations in the country which, according to them, have resulted in low efficiency in the power system.
Ogaji stated: “Thermal power plants, like the gas turbines (GTs) are designed to operate optimally and efficiently at base load. Operations of these gas turbines at operating points, far away from their base-loads implies a reduction in efficiency or in other words an increase in consumption of gas by as much as 15-20 percent, a cost not recognized by NBET (Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading) nor captured in the MYTO (Multi-year Tariff Order).
“This reduction in operating efficiency is in addition to the huge fatigue damage leading to higher cost meted out on turbines due to ramping up and down over wide temperature swings. It is common knowledge that GENCOs power stations have been used by Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, to stabilise the national grid with no compensations.
“Generally, the damaging effects include: thermal stress on Steam Turbine Blades, creep of compressor and turbine blades, Cracks on exhaust sleeves, Irregular heating and cooling cycles of hot gas path components, Cracks in ceramic tiles of the combustion chamber, Defective gas control valves due to wear and tear etc.”
Consequently, he stated: “The only sane thing to do and save the sector from collapsing is for GENCOs to shut down until when the networks (transmission and distribution) are efficient enough to take power and fully pay for both outstanding and current liabilities to GENCOs. Section 12.6.6 of the grid code allows the generator to disconnect the generating Unit for reasons of safety of personnel, apparatus, and/or plant.”