Power Minister, CEOs meet over drop in generation, Monday, 02 Apr 2012  


(The Nation) Disturbed by the unwarranted fall in power generation, the Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji has summoned all the chief executives officers (CEOs) of the 18 successive companies of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), to a meeting today.  The meeting is to identify the causes of drop in generation and sustainable solutions to the problem.   The issue of gas supply would also be top of the agenda to be discussed at the meeting.The power generation level had earlier gone up to 4,400megawtts (MW) but stands at about 3,200mw, indicating loss of over 1000mw. This has led to abysmal drop in power supply across the country.  Besides, the meeting becomes imperative because the level of power generation affects the national grid. Our correspondent gathered from a source close to the power ministry that whenever the generation drops below 3,600mw, it causes grid instability. "Whenever the power generation is less than 3,600mw, the grid swings and the development causes damage and instability to it. All these would be discussed at the meeting," the source said.

Nnaji had last week ordered an investigation into the three system failures, which the country has experienced since March 15. He had ordered the Chief Executive Officer of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Mr. Akinwuni Bada, to set up a team of experienced and competent engineers to investigate the causes of the system failures and submit a report to him within seven days. System collapse used to occur about four times every month but had not taken place since December as a result of repairs effected in the transmission network.The hydro power stations are also affected because the water level has been low and generation from there is very suboptimal, the source added.The source said the Shiroro power station is not generating anything while that of Kainji has grossly dropped. Kainji has installed capacity of 760mw but over time has been able to generate 330mw. Currently, as a result of low water level, the power station generates about 200mw.As part of efforts to address the grave drop in generation as well as advance government's power sector reform agenda, it was learnt that the Minister of Power just returned from the United States where  he met  officials of the United States Export-Import Bank (US-EXIM Bank) for funds.The US EXIM Bank had in October last year promised to give a $1.5 billion lifeline for the power sector.


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