Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Electricity: Why Nigerians are in darkness – Kainji GenCo boss.

Managing Director of Mainstream Energy Solutions, Mr Lamu Audu, has dismissed claims by the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, that low water level was partially responsible for the current gross inadequate power supply in the country. He told journalists in Abuja that the issue of low water level did not arise, because, indeed, the level of water in the nation’s two main electricity generating dams in Kainji and Jebba were still rising, due to the black flood from Lake Chad. 

He said: “For anybody to mention water level is unacceptable. It is not true. The issue of water does not arise.” According to Audu, of the total generation on the grid of 2,929 megawatts, as at Monday morning, Mainstream operators of both Kainji and Jebba Hydro Power plants contributed about 700megawatts and adding that Shiroro hydro power also had about 300 megawatts. 

He said the electricity industry was facing grave challenges that needed to be urgently addressed, especially to ensure the evacuation of all the power generated by his plants and that of others. He revealed that the industry had suffered three system collapses since the beginning of the year and that until the current crisis, occasioned mainly by gas pipelines vandalism, electricity generation frequency was too high and damaging plants. 

“There has been three-system collapse this year alone; two full collapse and one partial within the same month and this is what is causing all these fluctuations. Part of the problem is that when this system collapse happens, it affects our machines and now Jeba is suffering. 

“We have been having up to this week, high frequency which is as a result of somebody not using the power they are having, that is the only explanation. So, most of these high frequencies cause this system collapse.” Electricity generated no being utilised Audu said that it was ironical that power generation companies such as Mainstream were suffering losses due to unutilized power, while Nigerians have no power to run their businesses and for domestic uses. 

He said: “Our system is feeling it. The problem with generation of electricity is that electrical energy cannot be stored. You use as produced. So, these machines monitor that what it tries to put on the grid is actually utilized, if it is not, the frequency will shoot up and the machine will see it and then begins to de-load and if the machine is not designed to de-load on its own, it will trip to protect itself from the high frequency. 

“And by the time our machines trip, so many sequence of events happen within that machine and it causes a lot of wear and tear and with the aged machines that we have and by the time you go through one, two, three system collapse, the damage is much.” 

The Mainstream boss challenged the TCN to tell Nigerians why there have been consistent high frequency of above 50, with a record of 51.84 as at Monday morning. He said: “I think TCN should answer because they are the ones taking the energy from us and giving to the DISCOs but if the DISCOs are not utilizing it, they will know better than anybody else. 

“The DISCOs can deny but TCN should have the records to tell us what is happening to the energy that we are generating. Simple question: why has the frequency been high. Even from the system collapse, it shows from the broadcast 51.48 instead of 50 which means that someone is not taking the power we are producing. “It has been observed recently that the frequency has been on the high side, why? They should tell Nigerians why? Because if you ask the DISCO man, he will deny it, he will tell you there is no generation.”


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