Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
Following last week’s power grid collapse twice in 24 hours, the federal government said yesterday it had begun restoring a number of the country’s energy assets to recover 2,150 megawatts of electricity .
Energy Minister Mr. Abubakar Aliyu, in a statement he signed, said that while Okpai Power Station had resumed power generation, contributing an average of 300 megawatts, other power stations were being repaired to cope with the nationwide blackout.
Nigeria’s national power grid suffered another blackout on Tuesday, just 24 hours after witnessing a similar system meltdown, plunging the nation into darkness.
Grid generation fell massively from 3,000 megawatts earlier to 1,758 megawatts, leaving just 12 generation companies (Gencos) in operation, according to hourly data provided by System Operations (SO), a branch of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
The national power grid had collapsed on Monday, causing a nationwide outage after 1,100 megawatts of a previously recorded 3,700 MW peak generation were lost.
Following the incident, Aliyu had convened an emergency meeting to resolve all outstanding issues with Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) stakeholders due to the deteriorating power situation. power supply.
The Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC) Gencos had said the power supply situation in the country has worsened because generation companies have owed more than 1.6 trillion naira since 2013.
APGC Executive Secretary Dr Joy Ogaji said the power generators owed 1.644 trillion naira, adding that they had exhausted their borrowing capacity as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) allegedly asked the Nigerian financial institutions to refrain from lending them money. .
However, in an update, Aliyu said the federal government has taken several initiatives to recover considerable megawatts of power lost in recent weeks due to lower water levels at hydroelectric plants, vandalism, simultaneous maintenance of power plants, among others. .
Aliyu pointed out that the update became necessary following the emergency meeting he called on March 14, 2022 to restore normal electricity supply across the country.
According to him, during the meeting, a framework for sustainable procurement improvement was developed.
The minister said he was delighted that some of the sector’s challenges were being met.
“The Nigerian public may recall that the national grid lost around 1,100MW of generating capacity following simultaneous gas supply disruptions from Okpai, Calabar and Afam VI power stations.
“Available generation capacity has been exacerbated by the ongoing water management regime at Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro power stations. Progress to date includes, among many other initiatives, the following.
“The gas pipeline affected by vandalism has been restored and Okpai Power Station has resumed power generation and is currently contributing an average of 300mw.
“The Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc has been instructed to enter fast-track negotiations with the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) on an interim power sales agreement to bring the new Okpai II power station onto the grid, helping thus to an additional 400mw. production capacity,” he added.
In addition, the minister said that the “pigging” of the gas pipeline supplying gas to the Odukpani power plant is scheduled to be completed on March 21, 2022, thereby increasing production by around 400 MW.
To optimize the use of the capacity of the power plants belonging to the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Ltd. (NDPHC), Aliyu explained that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has approved special gas pricing for emergency gas contracts with the Nigerian Gas Marketing Company Ltd (NGMC).
“We expect an on-grid improvement of around 800mW in generating capacity from the NDPHC plants,” he said.
However, in the medium term, he noted that the Federal Government has agreed with the Nigerian Gas and Power Investment Company (NGPIC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, on the framework of the redesign of the Okoloma. gas processing plant.
According to him, this new development will restore the full capacity of the 650 MW Afam VI combined cycle power plant.
He said while the recent string of system collapses was regrettable, it was a direct result of a snap on a 330 kV transmission line.
Aliyu maintained that the mitigating measures to avoid such incidence of blackouts were being implemented through several interventions, including the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI)
“We wish to reassure all electricity consumers that all relevant agencies involved in restoring normality to electricity supply have been instructed to act in the context of the industry’s state of emergency.
“The Federal Ministry of Energy will continue to update the country periodically on progress,” he said.
The problematic power grid is a network of power transmission lines that connect multiple power stations to loads distributed across the country via power stations, transmission lines, and pylons.
Experts have said that purchasing and deploying a spinning reserve, which can react within 10 minutes to compensate for generation or transmission outages, could significantly reduce slumps in the Nigerian power grid.