The heavy rains have positively impacted hydro-power generation, resulting in more stable electricity.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has said that the supply of electricity, which has witnessed considerable improvement in recent times, would continue to grow as gas supply to the new power projects continue to increase.
The commission said that power generation has increased since the beginning of the rainy season in June, and peaked at about 4,321 megawatts on August 31st, 2012.
“For over a month before then and ever since, daily generation has been maintained within a range of 4,100 – 4,200 MW,” NERC chairman, Sam Amadi said on Tuesday in Abuja. “This is a remarkable departure from the days of attaining peak generation and plummeting down by as much as 1,000 MW within a few days in some cases.”
“This has not been the case since 1999 and it is tangible proof that the sector is indeed improving,” he added.
Mr. Amadi assured of NERC’s commitment to fulfill its role as an independent regulator of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry.
He attributed the improved level of hydro-power generation to the seasonal higher water inflows in water reservoirs during the rainy season, improvements in the critical maintenance at the generating plants, as well as the rise in gas supply to the power plants.
While commending the close collaboration with country’s gas suppliers, which has resulted in a significant increase in gas supply to the new power plants at Sapele, Omotosho and Olorunsogo, Mr. Amadi expressed optimism that power generation to the national grid from these plants would increase with increase in gas supplies.
The NERC boss hinged the sustainability of the latest improved power supply situation on the conclusion of the ongoing market restructuring by the commission, as well as the completion of the privatization of the power sector being implemented by the Bureau of Public Enterprises.
“Depending on the water management schedules at the hydro plants, we can naturally expect to see a slight drop in power generation due to low water level periods towards the end of the year,” he noted, adding that “unlike before, this decrease is not expected to be significant, because there has been a significant increase in thermal (gas-fired) generation capacity that will more than compensate for the losses expected in hydro generation”.
He said sustained new capacity power supply is expected through embedded generation that would enable distribution companies to procure power delivered to them directly, thus bypassing technical constraints in the national transmission grid.
“By this time next year, the privatized generating companies would be in full flow of the recovery of capacities programmes (that have been lost for decades) through various rehabilitation, lifetime extension and new capacity projects that will commence as soon as they take over these companies, expectedly during Q1, 2013,” he said.