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HomeBusinessPower plants' underperformance exacerbates Nigeria's energy crisis

Power plants’ underperformance exacerbates Nigeria’s energy crisis

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Sixteen power plants in Nigeria are currently operating below capacity amidst persistent grid collapses, exacerbating the country’s energy crisis.

According to data from the electricity market operator (NERC) on Monday, these power plants, including Afam IV-V, Sapele ST, Olorunsogo NIPP, and others, are producing only about 1,053 MW (37 percent) of the total power consumed in the country.

In contrast, major power plants such as Egbin ST, Delta GS, and others are generating 56 percent, or approximately 3,398 MW, of the total power consumed.

Despite having a total installed capacity of 12,199 MW, the current electricity generation of less than 5,000 MW falls far short of the country’s industrialization needs, which experts estimate at 30,000 MW.

In a newly released report, NERC stated that electricity supply increased by about 15 percent across the country in the fourth quarter of 2023, compared to the previous year. However, recent nationwide grid collapses have left consumers lamenting low supplies.

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The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) reported a total of 46 grid collapses between 2017 and 2022, with gas constraints being a major cause. Although power supply has been restored after the most recent collapse, consumers still report inadequate power supply across various regions.

The failure of the power sector to meet consumer expectations comes despite the revelation by the power minister, Adebayo Adelabu, that the federal government subsidises electricity bills by about 65 percent.

Adelabu expressed dissatisfaction with the current state of power supply and urged power-generating companies to enhance their performance.

Meanwhile, NERC reaffirmed its commitment to regulatory compliance and consumer protection within the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).

The regulator imposes various sanctions on power distribution companies for violations, including financial penalties, performance improvement plans, and licence suspension or revocation.

However, the effectiveness of these sanctions in improving service delivery remains debatable, with some arguing that they have not significantly addressed the underlying issues in the power sector.

(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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