Drop in Power Generation

The Transmission Company of Nigeria has warned that electricity generation in the country will drop because of on-going maintenance at the Shiroro power plant

|  By Anayo Ezugwu  |  Feb. 10, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT

IT WILL take a long time before Nigerians will experience steady electricity supply in the country even as the federal government moves to settle all residual staff issues of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria to ensure they do not undermine power supply. As at week, power generation dropped to 300 megawatts as a result of the shutdown of the Shiroro Power plant in Niger State. The Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, said the situation will result in an unavoidable drop in the quantity of power available for it to transmit to the distribution companies.

There are also report that at least six other power plants in the country are currently not producing electricity as a result of gas shortage, multiple faults as well as ongoing maintenance and rehabilitation works. One generating plant, three National Integrated Power Projects and two Independent Power Project stations were down with zero contribution to the national grid, thereby worsening electricity supply across the country.

The TCN said the power plants mostly the Shiroro Power Plc had announced that its power station would be shut for three days, from Monday, January 27 to Wednesday, January 29, 2014. Seun Olagunju, general manager, public affairs, TCN, said that the shutdown of the station was to enable the engineering maintenance crew to rectify a ground fault on the station’s carbon dioxide control panel. The panel, according to her, provides vital auxiliary services necessary for the running of the Shiroro plant.

Benjamin Dikki, DG, BPE
Benjamin Dikki, DG, BPE

She explained that the control panel was a fire protection system for all the units in the power station and that if it was out on repairs, all the units would have no protection against fire outbreak, hence the need to shut down all of them. “During the period, grid generation will reduce by 300MW, hence the nationwide load shedding. The impact of the load shedding will be higher in the northern part of the nation, especially Kano, due to voltage instability issues previously affecting power supply in that area,” Olagunju said.

The TCN apologised for the inconvenience the load shedding would cause the federal government and electricity consumers nationwide during the period. It said it would work with the power generating stations and distribution companies nationwide to improve and stabilise electricity supply.

As part of the federal government effort to resolve outstanding issues in the power sector privatisation, the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, on Wednesday, January 29, began a two-week nationwide tour of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria’s establishments to settle the remaining terminal benefits of the workers. Anichebe said the move was in line with the bureau’s determination to ensure that all residual issues related to the settlement of the terminal benefits of the workers of the defunct organisation were resolved on time. “The tour will be co-ordinated by the technical sub-committee chaired by the permanent secretary, ministry of power, which was set up by the federal government on the settlement of PHCN workers’ terminal benefits.

“The sub-committee’s work is expected to last two weeks from January 29 to February 12. The itinerary released indicates that the tour will take place simultaneously at the following centres: Abuja, Ikeja Disco, Port-Harcourt Disco zonal office, Kaduna Disco zonal office and the Bauchi Business Unit,” he said. All PHCN workers with pending issues are advised to take advantage of the initiative and visit the designated centres with their complaints. The BPE had recently said it had so far verified 43,375 workers of the defunct PHCN, who had been paid terminal benefits amounting to N361.02 billion.

Anichebe said only about four per cent of the workforce of the company had not been verified contrary to the claim by the National Union of Electricity Employees that 25,000 workers of the former electricity monopoly had not been paid their terminal benefits. “The total PHCN workforce presented to government is 47,913.  Out of this number, 43,375 have been verified and validated as bona fide members of staff of the PHCN, and have been paid both gratuity and pension components remitted to their Retirement Savings Accounts.”