We could shut down power plants soon - Electricity generation companies

We could shut down power plants soon - Electricity generation companies

- Electricity generation companies call on the federal government to address the challenges facing the power sector to avoid shutdown of power plants

- The Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC) says the recent decline in power generation can be traced to the various challenges experienced by the electricity firms

- APGC identifies some of the challenges in the power sector to include liquidity issues, power rejection by the electricity distribution companies and gas constraints due to the sorry state of the market

Electricity generation companies (Gencos) in the country have called on the federal government to address the challenges facing them or they will be forced to shut down their power plants.

The Punch reports that the threat was issued by the Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC), the umbrella body for the Gencos, on Monday, January 14.

The executive secretary, APGC, Joy Ogaji, in a statement said the recent decline in power generation could be traced to the various challenges experienced by the Gencos in the electricity market.

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She identified the challenges in the sector to include liquidity issues, power rejection by the electricity distribution companies and gas constraints due to the sorry state of the market.

Few of the thermal power plants were out due to planned maintenance, which is allowed in the sector. The decline was not an act of rebellion by the Gencos neither was it deliberate but was beyond their control,” Ogaji said.

“This should serve as a wake-up call to the Federal Government to the goings-on in the industry with regards to the Gencos and if the actions are not taken by the necessary agencies, Gencos will be forced to shut down business.”

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Ogaji said power generation capability plunged to 5,207.57 megawatts in December from 7,238.12MW in November, while average generation rose slightly to 4,162.47MW from 4,093.76MW.

“Available generation capability experienced a drop due to various factors such as gas constraints, ongoing maintenance by some gas suppliers and low load demand by distribution companies, which resulted in reduced generation or outage of some power plants,” she stated.

“Afam Power Plc (Afam VI Gas/Steam), GT12, 13 and ST10 power plants were shut down for a period of about 16 days due to planned maintenance that was carried out by the gas suppliers on their facilities. Although Afam Power Plc was duly notified about the maintenance, it resulted in a reduction of Afam’s available generation capability from about 490MW to zero.”

Meanwhile, the federal ministry of power works and housing has reportedly proposed a budget of N167.96m in 2019 for the purchase, maintenance and fuelling of generators at its headquarters and various agencies.

Giving a break down on how the sum is to be spent, The Punch, citing analysis of the 2019 budget proposal of the ministry, reports that the headquarters of the power ministry, set aside N26.6m for the maintenance of plants/generators, while plant/generator fuel cost was put at N16.3m.

The ministry also made a budget proposal of N50m for the purchase of generators while its national rural electrification agency proposed to spend N488, 000 on the maintenance of plants and generators, while N1.55m was budgeted as fuel cost for its plants and generators.

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