The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation have said repair work on the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline, which was razed by fire on January 2, 2018, has been completed with the resumption of gas supply to customers.
Fashola noted that in the first few days of the New Year, the power sector suffered a setback, which was caused by a damage to the gas supply network around Okada in Edo State.
“I am happy to inform Nigerians that as of last night (Sunday), the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation informed us that repairs had been completed. What remains is to test the lines and restore pressure and supply to the generation companies,” he said.
The NNPC also confirmed this on Monday, stating that the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline, which came down last week as a result of the fire incident, had been restored and gas supply to customers on the line, including power generating companies, had resumed.
The incident affected gas supply to customers in Ondo, Ogun and Lagos states, with subsequent shutdown of a number of power plants.
With the restoration of the ELP and resumption of gas supply, the affected power plants, with a combined generating capacity of 1,143 megawatts, will resume power generation.
The power plants include Egbin in Lagos; Olorunshogo, PEL Olorunshogo and Paras in Ogun; and Omotosho in Ondo.
The 36-inch Escravos to Lagos pipeline system was built in 1989 to supply gas from Escravos in the Niger Delta to various consumption utilisation areas.
It supplies gas to power plants in the South-West and also feeds the West African Gas Pipeline System.
Meanwhile, Fashola has said Nigerians are now spending less on the purchase of petrol and diesel to run their generators in order to get electricity.
According to him, power users in various parts of the country have been calling him to report how they now save money as a result of the increased hours of supply they receive on a daily basis.
Speaking at the 23rd power sector monthly meeting in Lafia, Nasarawa State, the minister stated, “The feedback I get from Nigerians is that you (power providers) are impacting the lives of Nigerians; you are saving them money and changing their lifestyles for the better.
“They tell me that their consumption of diesel and petrol to run generators for power has reduced and the hours they run their generators have gradually reduced. They also tell me that they are now monitoring how they use power and are turning off appliances that are not needed. Although this is meant to save costs, it also conserves energy, reduces waste and supports incremental power.”
The minister said power generation and transmission capacities were now about 7,000MW, while distribution was around 5,000MW.
He stated that the operators in the sector were able to increase power generation and supply in the last three months despite the dry season period, as opposed to previous situations.
The development, he said, was due to improvements in gas supply to power generation companies, noting that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission was working on a regulation that would further enhance power supply.
Fashola stated, “In the last three months, we have increased the supply of power in the dry weather and people’s experience with power was better. The cynics who used to say that it is only during the rains that power improves now see that what we have done is no fluke.
“We are also putting together a policy position to help expand the distribution network of the Discos and use this to distribute the 2,000MW that is currently available but cannot be distributed. I also use the opportunity to call out to manufacturers to let us know where they are, how much power they need, and how we can connect them because we have 2,000MW of undistributed power.”