Nationwide Blackout Looms as Nigeria Loses 12 Power Plants Amid Gas Shortage, Grid Collapse
The ministry said that the national grid has so far recorded 12 collapses out of the 27 power plants – It also reported serious gas shortage throughout the country due to the development It has been a battle for the electricity supply in Nigeria to stay above 3,000 megawatts recently because factors such as gas shortage and power grid collapse continue to limit generation. Punch reports that low load demand by power Distribution companies (Discos) and gas issues are preventing the generation of over 3,000 megawatts of electricity, Punch reports. READ ALSO: Ekweremadu wins PDP senatorial election in Enugu-West The most current data obtained from the ministry of power, works and housing on Tuesday, October 2, indicated that not less than 12 out of Nigeria’s 27 power plants were affected by low energy demand by the electricity distribution firms on Saturday, September 29, causing a generation capacity of 2,672.6MW to lie fallow. A generation capacity of 862.5MW was unavailable by 6am on Saturday as a result of gas constraints, which affected five power plants, namely Geregu I, Afam VI, Geregu NIPP, Sapele NIPP and Gbarain NIPP. According to the data, the national grid has so far recorded 11 collapses, with 10 being total, while one was partial.
The Nigerian electricity regulatory commission, explained that a total system collapse means complete blackout nationwide, while partial system collapse is a failure of a section of the grid. Following the latest total collapse which occurred on Thursday, September 20, some power generation companies have been forced to shut down some of their units or reduce output as a result of low load demand by the Discos and gas shortfall. The nation’s total electricity generation, which has been fluctuating around 3,000MW and 3,500MW in recent months, stood at 3,274.50MW as of 6am on Saturday, September 29. Under the multi year tariff order load allocation, the 11 Discos in the country share the total volume of power generated by the Gencos based on their customer base. The plants affected by the low load demand by the Discos on Saturday were Egbin, Geregu I, Omotosho I, Olorunsogo I, Alaoji NIPP, Olorunsogo NIPP, Omotosho NIPP, Ihovbor NIPP, Azura-Edo IPP, Rivers IPP, Delta, and Afam VI. Babatunde Fashola, the minister of power works and housing, at a recent meeting with stakeholders in the power sector, said: “Those who know and who genuinely desire to solve problems in this industry do not need to be told that the most pressing challenge of the sector today lies at the distribution end.
“Amongst the challenges at this sector of the value chain (and there are problems in gas, generation and transmission), the most urgent is distribution of available energy to consumers, and there is an unused energy in the region of 2,000 megawatts in this category.” Meanwhile, NAIJ.com reported that the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) had said that the current power outage in some north east states was due to a tripping caused by a fault on the Jos-Gombe 330kv transmission line. TCN’s general manager, public affairs, Ndidi Mbah, stated this in a statement on Monday, September 24, in Abuja, adding that the problem occurred shortly after the annual scheduled maintenance on the transmission line.