Nigeria’s electricity generation down 5.52% in Q3’19 as Analysts seek overhaul of power privatization sector

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as GenCos fail to generate 3,568 megawatts due to gas shortage

Total electric energy generated in the third quarter of 2019 (Q3’19) dropped by 5.52 percent from the second quarter (Q2’19) despite increase in available generation units because of persistent infrastructural challenges confronting the power sector.

This was revealed in the 2019 Third Quarter Report released by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC.

According to the report, the total electric energy generated was 7,984,685MegaWatts per hour, MWh, decreasing by 5.52 percent when compared to the level of generation in the second quarter of 2019.

The report stated: “During the quarter, the industry recorded the peak generation of 5,093MW. The available plant generation units on bar increased by four from the daily average of 62 units recorded in the preceding quarter.

“However, despite the increase in the available generation units in the third quarter, the total electric energy generated fell by 5.52 percent with 9.88 percentage points decrease in generation capacity utilisation due to constraints such as gas supply shortage, transmission and distribution networks and water management at the hydropower stations.”

It explained that with the decline in operational sector performance in the quarter under review, the aforementioned industry constraints have continued to pose major technical and operational challenges to the industry.

“The resolution of technical and operational constraints in the Nigerian electricity supply industry remains as one of the top priorities of the Commission. In this regard, the Commission has continued to work on addressing the DISCOs – TCN interface bottlenecks with the aim of freeing up part of the stranded generation capacity by addressing the technical constraints inhibiting the flow of energy.

“The Commission, during the quarter directed DISCOs to finalise and submit their respective Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs) covering the period 2020 – 2025 based on the guidelines provided by the Commission. The overall objective of the PIPs is to ensure that utilities invest in projects critical to addressing the technical and operational challenges affecting their operational efficiency,” the report added.

The NERC report further noted that out of a total number of 172,833 customers’ complaints received by Distribution Companies, DISCOs, across the country in the third quarter of 2019 (Q3’19), about 85,890 representing 49 percent bothered on issues of deficiency in roll-out of metering, billing and service interruption.

According to the report: “A review of customer complaints statistics indicates that estimated billing, metering and service interruptions remain the most significant areas of concerns for customers, accounting for 49.69% (i.e., 85,890) of the total complaints in the third quarter of 2019.

“The DISCOs received a total of 172,833 complaints from consumers (about 10.41 percent more than complaints received during the second quarter of 2019) and attended to a total of 146,326 (84.66 percent) representing a decrease of 3.05 percentage point from the preceding quarter.

“The report shows that Ibadan and Abuja DISCOs had the lowest customers’ complaints resolution rates based on the proportion of complaints not addressed in the third quarter.”

Meanwhile, Electricity Generation Companies (GenCos) comprising gas-fired and hydro stations said they could not generate 3,568 megawatts of electricity on Wednesday due to the unavailability of gas.

This information was made known in a daily energy report by the Advisory Power Team, office of the Vice President, a copy of which was obtained by News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday.

The report also noted that 110 megawatts of electricity was not generated due to unavailability of transmission infrastructure during the period. Similarly, it said that 603.3 megawatts of was not generated due to high frequency resulting from unavailability of distribution infrastructure.

The report, however, said that the GenCos released an average of 4,149 MegaWatts/Hour of electricity into the national grid on Wednesday. It said the electricity sent out by the GenCos was down by 226.51 megawatts from the 4,376 released on Tuesday.

The report revealed that the power sector lost an estimated N2,055 billion on Wednesday due to insufficient gas supply, distribution, and transmission infrastructure. On sector reform and activities, it said that the dominant constraint for Wednesday was unavailability of gas.

The report said the peak generation attained on Wednesday was 4, 640 megawatts. [NAN]

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