By Sunday Elom
The Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) has said it shut down the Alaoji Power Plant located in Abia State over the recent vandalization of TotalEnergies EP Nigeria Limited pipeline which supplies gas to the plant.
The power holding company stated that TotalEnergies had in a letter written to it (NDPHC) declaring its decision to stop gas supply to Alaoji power plant due to vandalization of its NOPL Line at KP41 Alaoma Etche Cluster on January 7, 2022, following the pipeline vandalism.
NDPHC spokesman, Mr. Ojor stated in the statement that TotalEnergies further explained that it closed the Line Block Valve at KP38 to isolate the sabotage point and depressurisation of the line; this according to the oil company will affect gas supply to the power plant until further notice.
“Gas supply to Alaoji Power Plant was suspended due to this unfortunate event,” the statement quoted TotalEnergies as stating in its letter.
However, Mr. Ojor stated that “Preliminary investigation to determine the extent of the damage was ongoing, and repair works shall commence as soon as feasible.’’
The NDPHC regretted the unfortunate development, reflecting that the Omotosho National Independent Power Project (NIPP) was shut down to forestall imminent collapse last month due to system wide curtailment of all gas shippers (gas producers/off takers) by the Nigeria Gas Company (NGC).
Recall that the Trans-Forcardos Pipeline (TFP), belonging to NGC was breached on December 17, 2021. Mr. Ojor’s statement noted that, ‘’the breach led to the deferment of about 250mmscfd of gas from the pipeline network, a situation that brought the network pressure to abysmal levels, thereby triggering an emergency.
“The curtailment impacted operations of NDPHC negatively with Omotosho NIPP being shut down and gas supply to Geregu NIPP and Ihovbor NIPP also limited, thus leading to part load or low generation from these available power plants.’’
However, the power holding company assured its customers that the Alaoji Power Plant and others would resume power generation as soon as gas supply was restored.
But it is certain that the shutdown of the Alaoji Power Plant will result in a drop in power generation and supply across the country.