Egbin power 1320mw capacity attainment faces grid, distribution challenges – businessday news you can trust businessday news you can trust kd 7 electricity socks

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The euphoria of Egbin power plant reaching full capacity of 1,329 megawatt (MW) thereby boasting power supply in the country is going to be short lived as industry sources said not all that is generated can be sent out because of grid and distribution constraints.

The 1,320 megawatts capacity plant will by tomorrow officially certified to have attain full generation capacity as all its six steam turbines with capacity of 220mw each are currently operating at full capacity. Steam turbine (ST-5) that has been down due to some technical problems is now fully rehabilitated and is up and running, a source close to the plant said.

However in response to the issue of grid inability to take the power generated, the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN blamed the problem on electricity distribution companies (Discos) for not having the capacity to pick the loads generated by generating companies (Gencos).

Ndidi Mba, principal manager, TCN, said the issue of transmitting the power generated by the TCN is a function of the distribution companies. She said the TCN can only transport what the distribution companies can take, adding that doing anything to the contrary may destabilise the grid. According to her, what is taken out of the grid should be what is sent in from the generation plant for now.

Report indicates that the maximum wheeling capacity reached by Transmission Company of Nigeria has been 5,074.7 Megawatts, MW (attained February 2nd, 2016) versus its claims of increased capacity from 5,500 MW to 6,000 MW, wholly untested and unproven.

There is a planned target transmission capacity of 8,200Mw by 2018 and 10,000Mw by 2019. The transmission arm of the power supply value chain has been tagged the weakest link of the chain by operators. If the target planned works are achieved, it would boost stable electricity supply.

According to them “It is not clear that TCN has received, nor will it receive, any funding that comes close to enabling it complete the indicated projects –a continued legacy of limited and poor funding of a vital aspect of power infrastructure.”

“Factually, a major contribution to the liquidity challenges that the DISCOs are currently experiencing is TCN’s infrastructure and technical limitations in wheeling power to the proper areas of a DISCO’s geographical footprint. “Also, DISCOs are currently experiencing a monthly loss in excess of N1 billion due to limited transmission capacities in various areas of the country. Analyst observed.

Sunday Olurotimi Oduntan, Executive Director, Research & Advocacy, Association of Nigeria Electricity Distribution was quoted to have said at a recent programme that a fundamental premise of the privatisation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, successor companies was that TCN would be operated efficiently, consistent with private sector attributes of productivity and managerial efficiency

About 1,738.5MW was not generated due to unavailability of gas, 40MW not generated due to unavailability of transmission infrastructure, while 1,092.1MW was not generated due to high frequency resulting from unavailability of distribution infrastructure. Another 190MW was not generated due to water management.