From James Ojo, Abuja

Nigeria’s power generation capacity again dropped to 2,846.1megawatts yesterday, leading to unstable supply in most parts of Abuja coupled with long hours of blackout in most parts of the country.

As at Monday, generation was put at 3,215.2mw by the Nigerian Electricity System Operator (SO) website, a sub-agency of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

According to daily operational reports from the website, power generation peaked at 3,215.2mw on Monday, January 16, 2017 but dropped to 2846.1mw as at 6am Wednesday.

The drop in generation was attributed to the attack launched against pipeline facilities belonging to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) on Tuesday night around Ugheli in Delta State.

Operational report by TCN had stated that  power generation hit the peak as at January 4, when it recorded 4,959mw as against 3,321 as at the end of last year. The 2861.4mw was transferred to the 11 distribution companies across the country.

Electricity generation had been dwindling due to challenges in accessing gas by generation companies, an official of TCN said, noting that the recent attack on NPDC facilities would affect power generation from plants located in Ugheli axis.

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The official said that many power projects that could boost the country’s generation were still pending due to lack of fund and gas shortage to test run the turbines.

It was learnt that the nation usually depends of power generation from thermal during the dry season as a result of low water level to power the hydro power stations.

System Operations (SO) function of TCN, which reels out daily power generation and distribution capacity was established as a sector within the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) under the transmission sector.

The SO has now evolved into a semi-autonomous sector under TCN and upon acquiring its license would operate as an independent company in future.

The main responsibility of the System Operator is to operate the transmission system and the connected installed generation in a safe and reliable manner. SO is also responsible for the overall security and reliability of the grid system, economic dispatch of available generation resources and maintaining system stability.

It has seven functional departments namely, Operations/Control, System Planning, SCADA, Communications, Technical Services, Transitional Electricity Market and System Performance.