No fewer than four power plants became idle on Sunday as a result of the attacks on oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta, bringing the total number of plants not generating any megawatts of electricity to 12.
There was significant reduction in generation from virtually all the other plants producing electricity, including Egbin in Lagos State and Alaoji in Abia State.
The shut power plants are Sapele I in Delta State; Geregu I and II in Kogi State; and Omotosho II in Ondo, with their installed capacities put at 240MW, 138MW, 435MW and 500MW, respectively, according to industry data obtained by our correspondent. As of 6am on Thursday, Sapele I generated 70MW; Geregu I, 142MW; Geregu II, 135MW; and Omotosho II produced 110.2MW.
Suspected militants in the Niger Delta had on Wednesday night blown up Chevron’s Okan offshore production platform, forcing the oil major to shut down the facility. On Thursday night, a pipeline transporting crude oil to the Warri refinery and a 16-inch gas line, owned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, were also blown up by the suspected militants.
An industry source said the damage to Chevron’s Okan platform on Wednesday had already cut supply of associated gas from the Okan field, adding that the gas supply shortfall worsened after the development on Thursday. Sapele’s units ST1 and 2 were said to have been shut down due to gas constraints; with the ST3 undergoing rehabilitation; ST4 and 5 awaiting major overhaul; while ST6 tripped and shut down on gas control valve not following reference point.
Geregu I saw its unit GT11 shut down due to gas constraints; GT12 for major overhaul; and GT13 was said to be out on maintenance. At Geregu II and Omotosho II, all the available units are out due to gas constraints. The total national power generation stood at 2,223.4MW as of 6am on Sunday, down from 3,183.9MW on May 5.
The slide in power generation has worsened the blackout being experienced in many parts of the country, with many consumers without electricity throughout the weekend. Generation from Egbin, the nation’s biggest power station, stood at 315MW, down from 1,085MW on March 15. It generated 220MW on Thursday.
The station’s unit ST1 was said to have tripped on generator CB trouble; while ST2 and 3 were not on spinning reserve due to Egbin G/S management decision. Units ST4 and 5 were reportedly out due to gas constraints. The Egbin power plant, which is situated in Lagos, has the capacity to contribute about 1,320MW to the national grid.
As of May 5, eight power stations, including Shiroro Power Station in Niger State, Olorunsogo II in Ogun State, and Rivers and Trans-Amadi IPPs, both in Rivers State, were idle.
Shell’s Afam VI power plant generated the highest megawatts of electricity at 501MW as of 6am on Sunday, the data showed.