Nigeria’s electricity generation dropped further last Tuesday by 312 megawatts (MW) after the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) reported a cut in gas supply to three key power plants in the country.
The gas supply company said the cut followed the emergency maintenance works it was carrying out on the pipeline supplying gas to Egbin, Omotosho, Olorunsogo and Papalanto power stations.
The NGC said the development resulted in a reduced power generation in the national grid from about 3,231 MW last Wednesday to 2,919MW.
More than a week earlier, the TCN also reported a system collapse, which cut electricity generation from about 4,338.9 MW as at April 20.
The Nigeria electricity system operator, an arm of the TCN, said the collapse was the sixth recorded since the year began.
The transmission company said the cut in gas supply was caused by a leakage discovered on the Escravos-Lagos pipeline system.
According to the TCN, the leakage forced a total shutdown of the four power generating plants late on Thursday to forestall the escalation of the impact.
The General Manager Public Affairs of TCN, Ndidi Mbah, said prior to the incident, Omotosho and Olorunsogo national independent power plants were already out of operation due to gas supply issues.
Mrs Mbah said the NGC tried to repair the leakage on the gas pipeline to restore normal gas supply to the affected power plants.
“At the moment, repairs have been completed and the pipeline is currently being pressurised prior to the resumption of gas supply to the affected power stations,” Mrs Mbah said.
To make up for the reduced supply, she said TCN was compelled to divert about 312MW electricity load from the Benin-Egbin 330kV transmission line.
The TCN said supply from the line to Omotosho–Ikeja West and Ayede-Ikeja 330kV transmission lines tripped off at about 23.14hours last Tuesday duel to on-going repair works on the Benin-Egbin 330kV transmission line.
Mrs Mbah said the tripping off was caused by a line cut between Ofofu and Okada Towns in Benin City, Edo State.
She said TCN engineers were making efforts to complete repair works on the transmission line, despite the very difficult terrain at that location.
“Due to the diversion of the load from this line to the two transmission lines equally feeding Lagos axis, load shedding in Lagos axis was minimised to about 280MW at the first instance,” she said.
“With the attendant gas supply issues and sudden gas leakage problem, load shedding has increased considerably,” she added.
While expressing regrets for the inconveniences the development will cause, Mrs Mbah assured Nigerians of TCN’s commitment to restore normàl power supply as soon as possible.
“TCN is working hard to ensure normal power supply is restored as soon as gas supply is restored to the affected power stations and transmission repair work is completed,” Mrs Mbah said.
The bulk of electricity generation in the country is from the gas-fired power plants.
The output from hydropower plants accounts for about 30 per cent of the total generating capacity.
Electricity supply has been irregular in recent times, with most consumers resorting to alternative measures to contain the attendant discomfort as a result of increasing heat and rising temperature.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the irregular electricity supply and increasing heat triggered increased patronage of generators and rechargeable fans among Abuja residents.