March 2, 2024

Nigeria’s electricity woes continue in Q1, 23, as 26 power plants generate 4,605.72 MW, 11 DisCos install only 6,495 prepaid meters  

Nigeria's Electricity Woes Continue: 26 Power Plants Generate 4,605.72 MW, But Only 6,495 Prepaid Meters Installed by 11 DisCos in Q1 2023"

Oredola Adeola


The inefficiency in Nigeria’s power grid system has been highlighted again in the first quarter of 2023, as 26 electricity-generating power plants injected 4,605.72 MegaWatts of electricity into the national grid, while only 6,495 prepaid meters were installed by all the 11 Nigerian Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos), and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) continues to perform poorly, forcing electricity customers to pay for its maximum efficient loss.



The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) made this known in its quarterly report seen by EnergyDay.





In an analysis of the operational performance of the Generating companies (GenCos), EnergyDay gathered that the 26 generation stations consisting of eighteen (18) gas, four (4) hydro, two (2) steam, and two (2) gas/steam-powered plants, recorded an average available generation capacity of 4,605.72MW, average hourly generation of 4,334.41MWh/h and a total quarterly generation of 9,350.23GigaWatts per hour in the period under review.


NERC report showed that the average available generation capacity increased by 2.27% from 4,503.59MW in 2022/Q4 to 4,605.72MW in 2023/Q1, driven by improved availability in eleven (11) out of the twenty-six grid-connected power plants.



EnergyDay’s check showed that Egbin Power was the only plant that recorded a substantial improvement in availability across the quarters as its available capacity increased by 48.48% from 476MW to 706MW.



NERC however noted that the remaining 15 plants each recorded minor reductions in available capacity with only Delta Gas (-13.51%) exceeding a 10% drop.



On the Average Hourly Generation, the regulator disclosed that hourly output produced by all the units in a power plant fluctuates based on grid demand, mechanical operability of the unit(s), and the availability of feedstock, emphasizing that plants are only dispatched when the load on the grid is sufficient to offtake the energy while operating within acceptable technical limits.



NERC also showed that in the quarter-by-quarter performance of the seven (7) plants with the highest average hourly generation performance in 2023/Q1, only 3 of these 7 plants recorded increases in their average hourly generation over the 2 quarters – Afam VI (+142.12%), Egbin ST (+50.63%), and Odukpani (+19.19%).



Conversely, Delta GS (-15.23%), Azura (-3.24%), Jebba (-3.49%), and Kainji (-2.52%), had reduced. hourly generation in 2023/Q1 compared to 2022/Q4, while the average hourly generation of the remaining nineteen (19) power plants decreased by 15.35% in 2023/Q1 compared to 2022/Q4.



The report further revealed that the overall increase in average hourly generation within the quarter was due to an increase in the available capacity of Egbin, Afam VI, Geregu, and Sapele power plants.



It also said “The biggest improvement noticed in Egbin’s hourly output is virtually proportional to the improvement in its availability.



“This is to be expected because Egbin plays a critical role in meeting demand in the Lagos region which regularly accounts for 25% – 30% of national consumption,” NERC said.




EnergyDay gathered that the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) failed to meet its target for the quarter under review, recording 0.41 percentage points relative to the Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO target for the period (7.25%), as it struggled to wheel energy from GenCos’ power plants to DisCos’ distribution infrastructure.


According to NERC, the TCN in its Transmission Loss Factor (TLF),-which refers to the proportion of the total energy sent out by the power plants that was either lost in transmission or utilised in the transmission station- recorded an average TLF in 2023/Q1 was 7.91%.



EnergyDay gathered that the figure represents a negative variance (under-performance) of 0.41 pp relative to the MYTO target for the period (7.25%) as well as an increase of 0.60 pp from the TLF of 7.31% in 2022/Q4,
indicating a decline in the overall operational performance.



The electricity customers in Nigeria paid for the maximum efficient loss incurred in the transmission network and caused by the TCN, even as the decline in the performance of TCN’s transmission efficiency, indicated that the company recorded a high TSP in February (8.22%) and March (8.19%), having failed to meet the target of 7.25% TLF set by the Commission for TCN during the 2023/Q1.





The NERC report showed that a total of 171,107 meters were installed in 2023/Q1, representing an increase of 6,495 installations (+3.95%) compared to the 164,612 meters installed in 2022/Q4.


This showed that 158,634 meters were installed under the Meter Assets Providers(MAP) intervention while 9,931 meters were installed under the National Mass Metering Programme(NMMP) scheme in the period under review.


NERC however noted that as a safeguard for customers against exploitation due to the lack of meters, it has been issuing monthly energy caps for all feeders in each DisCo.

The regulator disclosed that it has set the maximum amount of energy that may be billed to an unmetered customer for the respective month based on gross energy received by DisCo and consumption by metered customers.


EnergyDay further gathered that most DisCos failed to take their full Partially Contracted Capacity (PCC) due to a combination of technical limitations as well as load rejection by the DisCos largely due to commercial reasons i.e., high losses in certain areas.


Partially Contracted Capacity (PCC) is described as the target volume of energy to be off-taken by DisCos at any time, which became effective in July 2022, when the NESI transitioned to the Partial Activation of Contract (PAC).


Under the PAC regime, DisCos have a take-or-pay obligation, ensuring GenCos receive capacity payments regardless of actual energy received. However, the DisCos in the period under review, failed to take their full PCC.


In 2023/Q1, total energy off-taken by DisCos at their trading points was 3,470.13MWh/h compared to 3,470.09MWh/h3 recorded in 2022/Q4. While these numbers are identical, the energy offtake performance of DisCos actually reduced in 2023/Q1 (93.42%) compared to 95.70% in 2022/Q4.


When considering 2023/Q1 alone, Enugu and Jos DisCos had the lowest energy offtake performance each at ~89%, while Benin, Kaduna, and Eko had the largest drop in their offtake ratios with -4.94 pp, -5.72 pp, and -3.03 pp respectively, between 2022/Q4 with 2023/Q1.


Despite the government’s efforts to improve the power sector, the situation seemed to be getting worse. The failure of all the major players in the Nigerian power sector was not surprising to many Nigerians who had grown accustomed to the unreliable power supply perpetrated by the generation, transmission, and distribution companies.

EnergyDay, therefore, gathered that with the introduction of the Electricity Act 2023, assented by President Bola Tinubu, Nigeria is about to transition away from the national grid and empower states to generate, transmit, and distribute electricity within their boundaries.
This move aims to promote renewables and integrate renewable energy technologies into the existing grid system.
The constitutional amendment by former President Muhammadu Buhari also grants subnationals the authority to generate, transmit, and distribute electricity.


EnergyDay, therefore, noted that the shift towards decentralization and renewable energy is expected to improve access to electricity and drive economic development in Nigeria.