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FG Blames Poor Power Supply On Low Water Supply

The Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, has said that the poor state of power supply being experience across the states including the Federal Capital Territory is as a result of the reduction in hydro capacity during the dry season.

He said the bigger challenge is that additional load needs to be taken up by the gas plants, but the plants are currently under maintenance and construction.

Aliyu made the explanation during a briefing on the state of the Presidential Power Initiatives (PPI) and other key projects being undertaken by the Federal Government.

There has been severe power shortage across major cities including the FCT since last month.

Businesses and households are currently feeling the impact of the drop in power supply, a development that has led to increase spending in alternative source of electricity.

The minister said, “I would like to discuss the increased loads-hedding you may have observed in Abuja and other areas in the country. With the reduction in hydro capacity during the dry season, additional load needs to be taken up by our gas plants.

“We are having maintenance work in the Isan axis around Odukpani leading to reduced power supply from the usually reliable NDPHC Calabar power plant. And we are having challenges at the Okoloma  gas station linked to the Afam 6 Power Plant.

“We are working with NNPC and other gas suppliers also to improve the pressure on the western axis that is precluding these units from reaching optimum supply. These challenges are surmountable and we have a three prong approach as we are executing.”

To address the challenges, Aliyu explained that major power plants in the country are being completed to address the challenge in the sector.

The minister noted that the challenges have been identified, adding that there are both short-term and long-term solutions to the threat.

He said, “We are working on more gas supply contracts for the power sector, backed by improved liquidity. These contracts will have stiff financial penalties for underperformance.

“We will complete the Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Station, the Katsina Wind Plant, Kashimbila Hydropower Station, as well as ensure the challenges are permanently resolved, partnering with the Ministry of Water Resources.

“We are also working to resolve issues that have prevented large on grid solar from taking off in Nigeria. We  are retooling the system operator for improved dispatch, optimization based on technology technologies and improved maintenance schedule alignment across generators.”

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