Why Nigerians May Experience Power Blackout in the Coming Weeks

Why Nigerians May Experience Power Blackout in the Coming Weeks

Nigerians may have to endure more days of epileptic electricity supply after the country’s national grid suffered collapsed late Tuesday night.

The federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing in a statement issued early on Wednesday stated: “It is regrettable that after a sustained period of increasing production and distribution of power since September 2017 to date, the Nigerian Gas Processing and Transportation Company Ltd reported a fire incident on its Escravos Lagos Pipeline System near Okada, Edo State on Tuesday, January 2, 2018.

“The incident requires a shutdown of the pipeline supplying gas to Egbin 1,320megawatts; Olorunsogo NIPP 676MW; Olorunsogo 338MW; Omotosho NIPP 450MW; Omotosho 338 MW; and Paras 60MW power stations.

“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 2nd January 2018. The national transmission grid is owned and operated by the Transmission Company of Nigeria.”

Meanwhile, in a statement released by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) through Ndu Ughamadu, its Group General Manger
Group Public Affairs Division,
more details of the incidence that led to the national blackout were given. The statement reads:

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, has ordered an immediate assessment of the damage caused by a fire on the Escravos to Lagos Pipeline (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.

The incineration of the ELP, which was built in 1989, was suspected to have been caused by a bush fire January 2, 2018 at Abakila, in Ondo State.
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.

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

The exercise will affect gas supply to customers in Ondo, Ogun and Lagos State with subsequent shutdown of the following power plants with a combined generating capacity of 1,143MW: Egbin, Lagos, Olorunshogo, PEL Olorunshogo, Ogun, Paras Power Plant, Ogun and Omotosho plant, Ondo State.

This is a major setback for citizens and government alike and is definitely a bad way to start the new year in terms of the economy. However, it is hoped that the repairs will be completed in the fastest possible time to restore electricity supply to its previous level at least.

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