Electricity consumers in some parts of the country, including Lagos, will experience a drastic drop in power supply for the next three weeks as the Federal Government on Tuesday announced the shutdown of Utorogu and Ughelli East gas plants.
The power generation, which before now was about 3,674 megawatts, is expected to drop by about 1000 megawatts currently being supplied by a number power generation stations receiving gas from the two plants, including Egbin and Omotosho.
The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, said the closure of the two gas plants was to ensure their proper maintenance.
The installed capacities for Egbin, Omotoso I and Omotoso II power stations are put at 1,320MW, 336MW and 252MW. However, as of last week, the power stations were generating 550MW, 141MW and 105MW.
Other affected power stations were said to be generating about 300MW.
Nebo, in a letter made available to our correspondent by the Federal Ministry of Power on Monday, said the closure of the gas plants would affect the output of power generation stations taking gas supplies from these plants.
The minister said,
“I am publicising the planned closure for maintenance by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Corporation of its Utorogu and Ughelli East gas plants.
“This will no doubt have an impact on the output of the power stations fed by these gas plants, which include Egbin and Omotosho. The plants, to be shut for short periods of time, on different dates, will, inevitably result in temporary loss of generated power.
“This is regretted; but I assure you all that it will not last longer than the short period needed for the maintenance and re-commissioning work, and our experts will be at work to ensure that available power is distributed in a manner to minimise inconvenience to consumers.”
The minister said, “At the completion of this scheduled maintenance and upgrade, there will be improved gas production and quality from the plants, which will noticeably increase the output of the affected power plants and increase generated power.
“I, therefore, solicit the understanding, cooperation and support of all, for the duration of the gas plants shutdown, while regretting the inconvenience which it might cause to parts of the country where supply will be temporarily affected.”