Operational performance of players in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Market(NESI) recorded low point in the first quarter, of 2022 (Q1,2022) as twenty-six (26) grid-connected power stations generated an average of 4,712.34MW electricity, representing 13.78 percent decrease (-753.38MW) compared to 5,465.72MW recorded in 2021/Q4.
This was revealed in the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) quarterly report for Q1,2022, obtained by EnergyDay. According to NERC, available generation capacity during Q1,2022 dropped significantly to 4,712.34MW with an average decrease of 753.38MW, between January and March 2022.
The twenty-six (26) grid connected power stations, according to the quarterly report consist of nineteen (19) gas, four (4) hydro, two (2) steam, and one (1) gas/steam-powered plants, all of which were active during the period under review.
Analysis of the average hourly generation in 2022/Q1 showed that the average of all available units decreased by 190.58MWh/h (-4.44%) from 4,294.02MWh/h in 2021/Q4 to 4,103.11MWh/h. This was attributed to incessant technical faults, gas constraints, as well as undulating load demand patterns that have continued to affect the amount of energy generated by power plants.
The Association of Power Generation Companies, APGC, had during the quarter in view blamed poor management of the grid by the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, as one of the factors responsible for low power distribution in the country.
Mrs. Joy Ogaji, APGC Executive Secretary, had in a statement in response to the situation said, “The Generation Companies(GenCos) are supposed to start the turbines and stop at most 20 times a year, but the situation is different in Nigeria, the GenCos start and stop 365 days every year, leading to wear and tear on the plants, which causes maintenance issues at a time when they should be optimal.
She noted that in 2021, GenCos conducted a forensic investigation on the issues, and the result showed that the ramp-down and ramp-up affected the turbines. Ogaji said, “For instance, Siemens had during the period asked the Geregu power plant to shut down the machines because if the start and stop continues, it will destroy the three turbines.
“In a similar manner, General Electric also urged the Odukpani plant in Calabar to embark on maintenance but this was not done because of the prevailing situation,” the GenCos spokesperson said. NERC in the Q1,2022 report, however, noted that the reduced generation is expected due to an overall reduction in available capacity.
The Commission revealed that work is ongoing towards the gradual activation of contracts to incentivise commercial and contractual discipline throughout the value chain. On quarterly generation, NERC said that in 2022/Q1 the figure reached an output level of 8,848.04GWh, representing a decrease of632.17GWh (-6.67%) from 9,480.21GWh of electric energy generated in2021/Q4.
The report also noted that in 2022/Q1, the system frequency was outside the normal operating limits (+/- 0.5%) but remained within the higher and lower bound stress limits (+/- 2.5%).
In the period under review, the system voltage, according to the report, was outside the prescribed regulatory boundaries (+/- 5%).
NERC however warned that continuous operation with a declining system frequency and voltage level could have detrimental impacts on the overall health and reliability of the grid in the short and long term.
The Commission, therefore, charged the System Operator (SO) under the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to ensure that frequency and voltage are maintained within regulatory limits by investing and incorporating operational procedures that will improve its real-time visibility and ability to enforce grid discipline among the GenCos and Discos.