Availability of reliable power supply is part of the enabling environment for industrialisation and is, therefore, a deliberate national policy. To attract industrial development to all parts of this vast and populous country, many major towns have been linked to the national grid. The installed electricity- generating capacity in the country stands at 5,700 MW, of which the average plant capacity in 1992 was 3,200 MW, while the peak demand for the year was 2,362 MW. Generally, there has been a phenomenal growth in energy consumption which surged from 23 million tons of oil equivalent in 1970 to nearly 60 million tons in 1990. Commercial energy consumption has also witnessed spectacular growth, in which petroleum products account for about 70 per cent, natural gas 25 per cent, electricity 5 per cent, and coal one per cent.
Per capita primary energy consumption is about 480 oil equiva- lent, which falls to 301 if traditional energy sources like firewood and charcoal are not considered. Natural gas and hydroelectricity provide the sources of the power generated by NEPA. Private power plants are also operated as stand-by generating units in the event of power outages from NEPA. The oldest generating station in the country is the Kainji Hydroelectric Power Station, located on the River Niger, upstream from Jebba.
This station was completed in 1968. With the traditional generating units added subsequently, the total capacity at the Kainji station is 760 MW. At Jebba, another hydro station is located, with a generating capacity of 540 MW. A modern hydroelectric station was commis- sioned in 1990 at Shiroro Gorge on the Kaduna River, near Minna in Niger state. The Shiroro station has a maximum capacity of 600 MW. The earliest gas station in the country is the Afarn Thermal Power Station, built in 1963 with a total capacity of 696 MW.
In Lagos, the thermal power station at Egbin is the largest single station in the country and in Africa, with a capacity of 1320 MW. Located directly on the Niger Delta, the Sapale Thermal Station is designed to use both oil and gas, and can produce up to 720 MW at full firing. The Delta (IV) Thermal Station at Ughelli, Delta state, has a capacity of 600 MW, and was commissioned in 1991. Two new power stations are being planned for Zungeru (950 MW) and Abuja, the Federal Capital.