Low pressure on the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System, ELPS, has left several power plants without gas supply leaving about 3,000 megawatts of power stranded.
The 439Km ELPS which was commissioned in 1989 is owned and operated by the Nigerian Gas Company, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC. It was built to connect the Egbin Power plant with the abundance of gas at Escravos in the Niger Delta.
In the past few days, however, low gas supply from gas producers has left the ELPS with little gas leaving power plants at Sapele, Ihovbor in Benin, Omoku, Omotosho, and Egbin without supply.
As of Friday, power generation on the national grid plummeted to 3,059.20MW at 14hours. It continued into Saturday and Sunday. Checks on data by System Operators, an autonomous system in Transmission Company of Nigeria, also showed that power generation was still at 3,106MW at 14hours on Sunday. As of Friday all NIPP plants in Sapele, Ihovbor, Omoku, Geregu, and Omotosho were shut down and without gas.
The situation also impacted Egbin where generation was below 50 percent capacity. Checks on Sunday showed that as of 2 pm, Egbin was generating 686MW while Geregu was generating just 160MW from two units. Alaoji NIPP was generating 212.20MW.
Olorunsogo was operating just two units with 60.70MW, Omoku had 38MW from two units while Sapele was generating 41MW from just a unit. Speaking on the gas supply challenge, the Executive Director of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company, Engr. Kassim Abdulahi said it has impacted its operation in the plants supplied by ELPS.
According to him, “Gas supply is a very serious issue for NDPHC across all the power stations that we have. More especially those that are on the ELPS, we don’t have any allocation as we speak today. We have more than 2,000MW on that axis that is stranded because of a shortage of gas from the gas producers and also the suppliers as well. “Even with that, we are very hopeful that it will be resolved soon. We are doing our best to ensure that we put these power stations ready for operations”, he added.