The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said that it is exerting energy to quickly fix vandalised gas pipeline infrastructures across the country.
The corporation observed that actions of vandals has cut gas supply to thermal power stations leading to sharp drop in electricity generation.
It said the country is currently losing about 150 million standard cubic feet of gas due to pipeline vandalism at different points.
Group Executive Director, Gas and Power of the NNPC Mr. David Ige who gave the details at the opening ceremony of the Offshore
Technology Conference (OTC) which commenced in Houston
Texas, USA said the corporation has been significantly challenged with those issues in the past two months,
He said one leg of the Escravos-Lagos pipeline between Escaravos and Ojidi and Warri has been down after vandalisation and the delayed elections prolonged efforts to put it back to work.
But he said that at the moment, work is on-going to effect repair on the facility.
Ige also noted that, the Transforcados pipeline was attacked about four weeks but when repair work commenced, engineers observed further leakages but there are efforts to fix it at the moment.
“With the Transforcados pipeline out, we are losing gas supply from
Obein, Sapele and from NPDC,
which is a significant capacity that is down on the western side,’’
On the Eastern side, he said there has been problem
with evacuation, even as the corporation has been able to
supply gas to Okpai power plant, but that the power sector evacuation challenges has made it practically impossible to release power.
‘‘So Okpai sometimes is not able to operate at full capacity.
We are able to supply to Ibom power but Ibom power has been
operating at about 50 per cent capacity for quite a few months now.
Although the gas is there, the
power plant is not working at full capacity. We are able to supply gas to Alaoji but the Alaoji power plant is not able to evacuate Power because when Alaoji is on, you cannot evacuate Alaoji and Calabar” Ige explained.
According to him, It is a combination of issues, there was a time that the hydro generation is at its lowest; we have lost 300MW from Shiroro as a result of hydro going down. So, all these together has reduced generation.
However, he expressed optimism that in the next couple of weeks, as repair work begins and the rainy season draws nearer; there would
be improvement in power supply because all the problems are
actually short-term induced problems.
On gas pricing, he said gas price should not be an issue for producers and consumers because gas price has been increased to export parity in Nigeria, adding that the challenge today is not that of pricing.
He said that what has remained a challenge in Nigeria is the increasing gas debts as consumers are not paying the right.
Ige however stated that in attempt to provide a soft landing for producers, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has put a programme in place to deal with some of the legacy debts, adding that, government will make sure that the new volume that are being supplied are actually being paid for by end consumers through the power operators back to the gas