13 August 2012 – On Monday the 6th of August power generation in Africa’s most populous country hit a peak capacity of 4,237 MW, excluding spinning reserves. Minister of power, Professor Bart Nnaji, described the figure as the highest power output ever generated and supplied in Nigeria to date.
Nnaji, according to a statement issued by the ministry of power, attributed the increase to gas availability and praised the Nigeria Gas Company and the minister of petroleum resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, for delivering on the promise to supply gas to the thermal plants.
“Gas is coming up gradually and when fully stabilised, we can easily hit 5,000 MW,” Nnaji says. He also says that although water levels had also improved at the dams, hydropower plant managers at Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro were operating a management system designed to ensure that there is water for power all year round. “We can have more power if we decide to use what is available at Shiroro, for example, but we do not want to do that.”
The minister says he is pleased that the transmission backbone had been able to wheel the power produced effortlessly.
When president Goodluck Jonathan assumed office in May, 2010, the amount of power generated in Nigeria was about 2,800 MW. The figure spiked by 1,000MW within one year, mostly through recoveries from existing plant capacities. By January 2012, the generation capacity peaked to about 4,100 MW.
In April 2012 Nnaji promised that there would be considerable improvement in power supply from the end of July 2012 because of the scheduled increase in natural gas supply from the Nigerian Gas Company, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, and in the volume of water at the lakes in the country’s three hydro power stations at Kainji, Shiroro and Jebba.