May 19, 2024

Despite the blackout witnessed in many parts of Nigeria last year, a monthly average of 2,248.5 megawatts of electricity was stranded and unutilised in the same year, industry data from power generation companies showed.

It was gathered on Tuesday that while the average available power generation capacity for the 12-month period in 2021 was 6,336.52MW, the actual average generation put on the national grid for utilisation during the period was 4,118.98MW.

This came as the Federal Government allocated N40bn in the 2022 budget to settle the electricity debts of its ministries, departments and agencies.

Last week, power distribution companies told our correspondent that the indebtedness of the Federal Government MDAs to Discos for unpaid electricity was in excess of N90bn.

The 2021 Generation Capacity Loss Data seen in Abuja showed that the country’s power sector recorded stranded electricity in all the 12 months of 2021.

The figures for stranded electricity in months of January, February, March and April 2021 were 1,915.13MW, 1,634.87MW, 1,799.18MW and 1,921.5MW respectively.

Stranded electricity figures of 1,944.59MW, 2,396.7MW, 2,421.38MW and 2,909.55MW were recorded in May, June, July and August 2021 respectively.

For September, October, November and December, the quantum of stranded power in each of these months stood at 3,291.15MW, 2,570.58MW, 1,996.44MW and 2,180.95MW respectively.

Power generation companies have often complained about the poor utilisation of what they are capable to deliver on the grid.

The Executive Secretary, Association of Power Generation Companies, Joy Ogaji, had recently argued that Gencos were not dispatching at full capacity due to the poor utilisation of what they produce.

She said, “There may be many reasons for the ‘seemingly perceived poor or lack of generation. I want to state for the records that no single generation company is allowed, by the system, to send out its available capacity.

“I stand to be corrected with facts, not political claims. I repeat! All Gencos are sub-optimally dispatched, with many units idle.”

She argued that capacity utilisation in any market was often used as a measure of productive efficiency and stressed that the average production costs tend to fall as output rises.

“So higher utilisation can reduce unit costs, bringing about a more competitive market which makes plants financially viable,” Ogaji stated.

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