- Gas, Frequency Problems Hit Egbin, 15 Other Power Plants
Sixteen of the nation’s 27 power plants have seen their generation capacities limited by gas constraint and frequency management occasioned by distribution companies’ load demand.
A total of 2,313 megawatts of power were left unused as of May 8, with 1,935MW due to gas constraint and 1,378.3MW due to frequency management, data from the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing showed on Wednesday.
Eight plants, namely Egbin, Azura, Jebba, Olorunsogo I, Delta, Shiroro, Okpai and Omotosho I, were affected by frequency management problem; while Omotosho II, Alaoji NIPP, Geregu NIPP, Olorunsogo NIPP, Geregu I, Odukpani NIPP, River IPP and Afam VI were hit by gas shortages.
Total power generation stood at 3,501.4MW as of 6am on Wednesday, up from 3,192.20MW on Sunday, according to data from the Nigeria Electricity System Operator.
From 4,339.10MW as of 6am on Monday, April 30, the total electricity generation plunged to a low of 2,552.40MW last week Thursday as the number of idle power plants increased to 12 from seven on Wednesday.
Eight power plants, namely Afam IV and V, Odukpani NIPP, Ihovbor NIPP, Gbarain NIPP, AES, ASCO, Omoku and Trans-Amadi, were not generating any megawatts as of Tuesday.
The system operator put the installed generation capacity at 11,165.40MW; available capacity at 7,139.60MW; current transmission capacity at 7,000MW; and network operational capacity at 5,500MW.
The nation generates most of its electricity from gas-fired power plants, while output from hydropower plants makes up about 30 per cent of the total.
Generation from Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro hydro plants, which stood at 256MW, 251MW and 259MW, respectively as of 6am on Tuesday, went down to 411MW, 440MW and 442MW, respectively, as of January 5.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, on Monday said the Federal Government would start supporting electricity distribution companies by the end of this year as part of efforts to achieve incremental power supply in the country.
He said the administration had increased the grid capacity from 5,000 megawatts in 2015 to over 7,000MW, adding that efforts were ongoing to increase the transmission capacity.
“I can tell you that in the course of this year, the TCN has no less than 90 projects of substation completion, substation expansion and re-conducting of old lines in order to expand the grid capacity,” he said.
Fuel Scarcity: NUPENG to Commence Strike on Monday
Lagosians Should Brace for Fuel Scarcity as NUPENG Embarks on Strike
Nigerians should brace for fuel scarcity as the national leadership of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) directed all petroleum tanker drivers to withdraw their services from Lagos State starting from Monday, 10 August 2020.
In a statement released by NUPENG on Friday, the union said the directive followed the failure of various authorities in Lagos State to address three major issues that had impacted the operations of petroleum tanker drivers in the state for several months.
The statement signed by the National President, Williams Akporeha and the General Secretary, Olawale Afolabi, NUPENG and titled title ‘NUPENG leadership directs withdrawal of services by petroleum tanker drivers in Lagos State with effect from Monday, August 10, 2020,’ noted that members of the union are frustrated and pained by the barrage of challenges faced while carrying out their activities in Lagos State.
NUPENG said, “The entire rank and file members of the union are deeply pained, frustrated and agonised by the barrage of these challenges being consistently faced by petroleum tanker drivers in Lagos State and are left with no other option but to direct the withdrawal of their services in Lagos State until the Lagos State Government and other relevant stakeholders address these critical challenges.
“It is sad and disheartening to note here that we had made several appeals and reports to the Lagos State Government and the Presidential Task Force for the decongestion of Apapa on these challenges but all to no avail.”
NUPENG listed the major challenges faced by petroleum tanker drivers in Lagos State as extortion and harassment by various security agents and, area boys’ (miscreants).
“This menace must stop and the leadership of these security operatives in Lagos State must go all out to call their men to order with immediate effect.”
The Union added that it is sad that the security agents who were expected to ensure the free flow of traffic and protection of road users were the same people using their uniforms and arms to intimidate, harass and extort money from petroleum drivers in Lagos State.
Therefore, it said it had embarked on an indefinite strike to force the Lagos State Government to address the situation.
NLC Gives Airlines Two Weeks to Reverse Mass Lay-offs
NLC Goes After Bristow, Air Peace, Demands Reversal of Mass Lay-offs
The Nigeria Labour Congress on Friday rejected the recent sack of 100 Pilots by Air Peace, 70 Pilots by Bristow Helicopters and staff of the National Union of Air Transport union working with Turkish Air.
In a statement released by the Union, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, the President, NLC, described the action of the companies as “insensitive, callous and unjust”.
Earlier in the week, Air Peace, Nigeria’s largest carrier announced it would be letting go of 70 pilots as it struggles to curb the impact of COVID-19 on its finances.
This was followed by Bristow Helicopters’ announcement that it would be letting go of 100 Pilots and Engineers as it can no longer support them due to its decline in its financial position.
While the companies have blamed COVID-19 and lack of government support for their decision to cut costs to remain afloat, experts believed the decision was as a result of recent union activities of the affected staff.
Bristow staff had embarked on strike on Monday after talks between the Nigerian Association of Air Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) and the management of the company broke down despite giving them three days strike warning.
Wabba said no worker should be sacked or penalised for participating in union activities.
He said, “The unilateral sack of executive members of the National Union of Air Transport Employees working with Turkish Airline is particularly distressing.
“These workers were sacked for fighting for the rights of Nigerian workers in Turkish Air.
“This is very reprehensible. We wish to remind Turkish Air that unionised workers cannot be punished or sacked for participating in trade union activities.
“This action is aimed at frustrating unionisation in Turkish Air and to enslave Nigerians working with Turkish Air.”
Wabba emphasised that the Union would not stop advocating for the dismissed workers. The President of NLC, therefore, called on the management of Turkish Air, Air Peace and Bristow Helicopters to reinstate all workers within two weeks.
He warned that failure to comply with the Union demand would be met with mas action across Nigeria’s workforce.
He said, “We call on the management of Turkish Air, Air Peace and Bristow Helicopters to reinstate all the sacked workers within two weeks.”
Brent Crude Oil Pulls Back to $44 Per Barrel
Brent Drops from $46 Per Barrel to $44 on Friday
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is measured, pulled back on Friday morning during the New York trading session to $44 per barrel.
The commodity rose on Tuesday on hopes that the United States is working on a new economic stimulus package and signs that the world’s largest economy is making progress with COVID-19.
“Crude prices turned positive on stimulus hopes and after another positive round of economic data showed manufacturing recovery continued in June,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.
Brent crude oil rose as high as $46.21 per barrel on Wednesday before pulling back to $44.47 per barrel on Friday amid concerns that the second wave of COVID-19 would eventually weigh on the demand for the commodity and disrupt whatever plans OPEC and allies have to curtail further decline in oil prices.
However, experts think the new US stimulus would bolster market outlook and increase global oil demand with demand in consumer goods.
“Hopes are still running high for another round of fiscal stimulus,” said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM. “Failure to extend aid would deal a massive blow to the recovering U.S. economy and the fragile oil demand outlook.”
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