The federal government is installing electronic equipment to monitor gas pipelines to prevent them from being vandalized
| By Anayo Ezugwu | Jan. 26, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT |
IN its effort to reduce pipeline vandalisation in the country, the federal government on Monday, January 12, commenced installing electronic monitoring equipment on pipelines that supply gas to power generation plants following their repeated rupturing by vandals. The government took the action to safeguard the gains recorded in power generation which is often undermined by gas pipelines vandals, a development that has reduced the country’s generated power from more than 4,100 megawatts in December 2014 to 3,000MW this month.
Chinedu Nebo, minister of power, said a few days after most parts of the country celebrated the New Year with stable power, vandals struck by bursting many points on the main pipelines supplying gas to the power stations. This had resulted in a steep drop in generation capacity and by extension available power to the national grid.
“Most of the power supply in Nigeria is based on gas, with about 70 percent from gas-fired turbines and 30 percent from hydro. When we have a holistic energy mix, things will get much improved. Oil thieves and vandals who break into our pipelines make it difficult for Nigerians to even benefit from what this government has done. We have far larger installed capacity than the power we give out and this is because of gas supply constraints. That is being taken care of because more forces are being deployed. Electronic gadgets are being installed to ensure that at any point of disruption, our security forces will know and know how to forestall it,” he said.
The minister called for the continuation of the current power sector reforms, adding that the sector would suffer seriously if the reforms were disrupted. He said the introduction of renewable energy, especially solar power system, had provided electricity to some rural communities, with a calculated plan to connect the rest within the shortest possible time. “Continuity is very essential and critical because we don’t want a policy summersault. We are now on a trajectory and we hope to consolidate that trajectory. I see a Nigeria where hospitals, schools, households in far villages that never thought of electricity because the national grid cannot get to them, are connected to power via renewable energy.”