The nation’s power sector lost an estimated N65.56bn in March due to constraints from insufficient gas supply, distribution and transmission infrastructure.
Data obtained from the Advisory Power Team in the Office of the Vice President showed that lack of gas was the biggest factor that limited power generation last month.
The sector started the month with an estimated loss of N2.21bn as only an average of 4,014 megawatt-hours/hour was sent out on March 1 while 4,516.5MW was not generated due to gas unavailability.
The biggest loss (N2.23bn) was recorded on March 23, with the average energy sent out being 3,988 MWh/hour, according to the APT data.
The lowest loss recorded by the sector was N1.81bn on March 14, with the average energy sent out being 3,776 MWh/h.
The highest average energy supplied to consumers was 4,361MWh/h, which was achieved on March 16, while the sector recorded an estimated loss of N1.85bn.
The average energy sent out fell to a low of 3,345MWh/h on March 24, with a loss of N2.46bn in revenue.
On March 31, the average energy sent out was 4,153 MWh/h, while an estimated N2.54bn was lost.
Total power generation in the country stood at 4,284.3MW as of 6pm on Tuesday, compared to 3,541.1MW on Friday, according to the Nigerian Electricity System Operator.
Six of the nation’s 27 power plants, including four built under the National Integrated Power Project, were not generating any megawatts of electricity.
The affected plants were Sapele, Olorunsogo, Ihovbor, Gbarain, AES, and ASCO.
The system operator put the nation’s installed generation capacity at 12,910.40MW; available capacity at 7,652.60MW; transmission wheeling capacity at 8,100MW; and the peak generation ever attained at 5,375MW.
The nation generates the bulk of its electricity from gas-fired power plants, while output from hydropower plants makes up about 30 per cent of the total.
The distribution and generation companies carved out of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria were handed over to private investors on November 1, 2013, following the privatisation of the power sector.
More than six years after the privatisation, the investors who took over the power firms that emerged after the unbundling of the PHCN are still grappling with the old problems in the sector.
The sector is plagued with problems of gas supply shortages, limited distribution networks, limited transmission line capacity, huge metering gap, electricity theft, and high technical and commercial losses, among others.