By ADEWALE SANYAOLU (Lagos) and DENNIS MERNYI (Abuja)
Beginning Friday, residents of Lagos, Ogun and Ondo states are to experience a 72-hour power cut, which would last till Sunday, April 7, as a result of additional gas supply to the Chevron Escravos Gas plants. The power supply cut was announced by Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Power (PTFP), Mr. Beks Dagogo Jack, in a statement made available to Daily Sun, in Abuja, yesterday.
The Chevron Escravos Gas plant supplies gas for power generation in Egbin Power Plant, Lagos, Omotosho Power Plants 1 & 2 in Ondo State and Olorunsogo Power Plant in Ogun State. A copy of the Daily Operational Report of power generation for Monday April 1, 2013 exclusively obtained by Daily Sun indicated that Egbin which has installed available capacity of 1100mw generated 920mw, while Omotosho with installed available capacity of 126mw generated 114mw and Olorunsogo with installed capacity of 126mw generated 114mw.
However, Dagogo Jack maintained that the outage will take about 800 megawatts out of available supply during the three day period and will be inclusive of the Shell Afam VI scheduled maintenance which contributes about 200 megawatts to the power shortfall. “The PTFP is coordinating with the relevant project owners to further mitigate the effect of the expected power shortfall. The scheduled maintenance operations of this nature are normal in ensuring that power supply is sustained in the long term.”
The statement quoted Dagogo-Jack further as saying that, the maintenance exercise can be likened to the periodic servicing of a vehicle in order to get the desired level of service reliability, stating that basic machines such as cars must be maintained at determined intervals to ensure optimal power plants efficiency. The chairman also stated that the benefits of this culture of disciplined maintenance far outweigh the cost of a two to three day inconvenience reduced supply, promising that the increased generation alongside future planned maintenance would have minimal impact on supply.
Dagogo-Jack, however, prayed for the support and understanding of Nigerians during this unavoidable period of power cut, while assuring the public that in spite of the daunting challenges on the way, government’s determination to transform the power sector remains a top priority. The chairman said PTEF is coordinating with Chevron, Nigerian Gas Company (NGC), a subsidiary of NNPC alongside the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to ensure that the scheduled gas outage at the Chevron Escravos Gas plant from April 5–7, 2013 will be executed with minimal disruption to the supply of electricity in the country.
The outage, according to him is scheduled for the tie in of additional gas supply from the plant. He assured further that as part of the mitigating plan, transmission line maintenance in the Lagos area will also be conducted in tandem to avoid sequential outages.