Power generation drops by 3,182MW causing nationwide blackout

Power generation has dropped by 3,182 megawatts (mw) throwing most parts of the country into darkness.

The drop has left the country with current generation of 2,040mw out of the total generation capacity of 5,222mw was as a result of a damage caused by a fire on the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The incident, according to the Federal Ministry of Power Works and Housing, requires a shutdown of the pipeline supplying gas to Egbin 1,320mw; Olorunsogo 1, 676mw, Olorunsogo 2, 338mw; Omotosho 1, 450mw; Omotosho 2, 338mw and Paras 60mw power stations.

NNPC Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, has ordered an immediate assessment of the damage caused on ELP, a natural gas pipeline, which supplies gas from Escravos region of the Niger Delta area to Lagos.

The pipeline also supplies gas to power plants in the South West, in addition to feeding the West Africa Gas Pipeline System.

Baru said NNPC firemen were drafted to the scene and were able to contain the fire from the leak point of the pipeline incident. However, the fire could not be extinguished due to the high pressure of the line.

He explained that to put off the fire, the line would require being isolated and depressurised, which might lead to a complete shutdown of the pipeline segment for repair works to be carried out.

Meanwhile, the Federal Ministry of Works, Power and Housing, after the incident, assured that the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and the Generation Companies (Gencos) are working to restore operation of the national grid.

‘‘Regrettably, after a sustained period of increasing production and distribution of power since September 2017 to date, the Nigerian Gas Processing and Transportation Company Ltd (NGPTC) has reported a fire incident on its ELPS on January 2, 2018.”

The ministry explained that the sudden loss of generation due to interruption in gas supply from these stations caused the national transmission grid to trip off around 20:20 on January 2, 2018. The national transmission grid is owned and operated by TCN. In a related development, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) yesterday, recorded another system collapse at about 14.19Hours.

TCN explained that Preliminary information from National Control Centre (NCC), indicated that the tripping of Odukpani-Ikot Ekpene 330kv line, cut off generation from Odukpani Power Station to the grid.

It assured that, restoration of the grid has reached advanced stage while TCN has also commenced investigations to determine the exact cause of the system disturbance and the outcome will publicised.

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