TCN attributes nationwide load shedding on gas constraints, technical hitches from GenCos

Oredola Adeola

The Transmission Company of Nigeria(TCN) has attributed the current load shedding being experienced nationwide to gas constraints, faults, and technical problems by power generating plants. This according to the company has resulted in low capacity utilisation by the Generation Companies (GENCOs)Those constraints have impacted the wheeling capacity available to be supplied through the transmission grid to distribution companies (DisCos) nationwide.

This was contained in a statement released on Tuesday by Ndidi Mbah, TCN’s General Manager, Public Affairs. According to her, the media has been awash with reports that TCN has reduced the load allocation to distribution companies, adding that the reports are incorrect.

She said, “The correct position is that TCN can only transmit the quantum of power generated by GenCos through the national grid to distribution load centres nationwide.

” TCN does not generate electricity and therefore can only transport cumulative generation from all the generation companies nationwide to distribution load centres. The distribution companies are responsible for end-users consumption. TCN allocates power to distribution companies based on approved percentage (formula approved by NERC), of the total generation available per hour or on day-ahead nomination.

“Presently, the cumulative generation nationwide is low and generation companies have attributed this to several factors including poor gas supply, fault in generating units of generating companies, scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, all of which have caused most power generating companies to limit their generation, and sometimes not generate at all.

“A summary of the power generating profiles in the last two months, for instance, clearly shows that fourteen (14) gas-powered generating stations were either not generating at all or had limited generation at various times within the period, further depleting the quantum of power generation available for transmission into the grid on a daily basis. Power generating stations in this category include; Omotosho units 5 & 6, Olorunsogo units 3, 4 & 6, Omoku units 3 & 6, Omotosho NIPP units 3 & 4, Delta units 15, 17, and 18, Afam VI units 11 & 12, Olorunsogo NIPP unit 3, Ihovbor NIPP unit 2, Sapele Steam unit 3, Sapele NIPP unit 1, Odukpani NIPP units 1 & 3, and Okpai units 11, 12 & 18.

The TCN’s spokesperson said, “Within the period under review, Jebba Hydro and Shiroro Power Generating Stations were either out or had limited generation, causing additional loss of 232MW from the grid, while other power generating plants such as Omotosho units 3&4, Olorunsogo units 1, Delta units 10 &20, Afam VI unit 13, Ihovbor NIPP units 4, Geregu NIPP units 22&23 and Odukpani NIPP units 2, 4 & 5, have also been out either on fault or for scheduled maintenance, causing a further loss of about 3,180MW from the grid.

“A combination of the above scenarios have persisted and the total effect on the grid is persistent low generation, which TCN Operators have had to strive to dispatch in a way that will not jeopardize the stability of the grid.

“More recently, from the 1st to 4th of March, 2022, there was generation shortfall due to water management in Shiroro and Jebba hydro with the loss of 307MW and 125MW respectively from both stations. Within the same period, there were fault and technical problems in Egbin, causing 514MW shortfall and in Geregu causing 230MW shortfall, while reported fault at Alaoji NIPP reduced generation from the substation by 263MW.

“Gas constraint alone in Olorunsogo gas generating plant reduced generation from the station by 104MW, in the same vein, Omotosho gas lost 102MW and Sapele NIPP lost 263MW. In Omotosho NIPP, there was generation shortfall of 233MW and in Omoku a shortfall of 112MW. Two units in Okpai have limited generation due to technical problems causing a 204MW drop in generation and in Afam VI 511MW drop in generation.

“Gas constraint and fault in Olorunsogo NIPP reduced generation by 240MW, Geregu NIPP by 435MW, and Ihovbor by 142MW. Also, due to gas pipeline pigging, Odukpani NIPP was SHUT DOWN which caused a reduction of generation by 575MW.

Mbah further reiterated that a combination of issues ranging from gas constraints, fault, and technical problems within generating plants caused persistent low generation and consequently low load allocation to Distribution Companies nationwide.

She revealed that the issue was based on the fact that TCN can only transmit what is being generated by GenCos and presently they are all generating below capacity.

Mbah however noted that except cumulative power generation increases considerably for TCN to transmit to distribution companies nationwide, TCN will be left with no choice but to continue to load shed.

” We will however continue to work hard to ensure the efficient allocation of the total load generated by power generating stations into the grid, bearing in mind the need to ensure that the national grid is stable in spite of the challenges posed by insufficient load on the transmission grid,” the TCN’s spokesman said.

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