5 January 2018

Nigeria: Blackout As Electricity Grid Collapses Twice in 24 Hours

The power transmission grid has experienced two system collapses within 24 hours interval, Daily Trust learnt.

Data obtained from the Nigeria Electricity System Operator (NSO) shows that the peak generation of electricity was at 4,710 megawatts (MW) on Tuesday before the system collapsed and the frequency rose to 50.75 Hertz (Hz).

The collapse was attributed to the abrupt shutdown of six Generation Companies (GenCos) producing over 3,100MW in the region after the Escravos Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) supplying gas to them was gutted by fire.

While the collapse caused a dip of the national grid to 0.50MW, on Tuesday, the second collapse occurred Wednesday afternoon when peak generation was at 3,906MW. The power system crashed to 51MW before it was restored, the Daily Trust reports.

Following the Escravos pipeline fire, the Lagos state and other areas in the Western region may experience low power supply as the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) said its power line to the region would carry less energy load to avoid collapsing the electricity grid again.

The spokesperson of TCN, Mrs Ndidi Mbah in a statement said the second electricity system collapse occurred on Wednesday afternoon after Odukpani-Ikot Ekpene 330kV line transmission line tripped off and stopped power generation from Odukpani Generation Company (GenCo) in Cross River state.

Mbah therefore advised that it would not be safe to put higher loads on the Lagos-Benin and Lagos-Osogbo 330kV lines because of its impact on the Grid stability. "A 330kV line carrying her load could trip and cause system collapse. Therefore TCN may not carry enough load to Lagos," she said.

On what is being done to restore gas supply, TCN said the Nigeria Gas Company (NGC) indicated that a contractor has been mobilised to reconstruct the affected segment of the Western Gas Pipeline in 24 hours, so that gas supply to Omotosho, Egbin, and Olorunsogo I and II GenCos can be restored.

TCN said the grid would have withstood the Odukpani GenCo infraction if generation along Lagos Region were available. However, restoration of the grid reached advanced stage and was eventually restored while investigations began to determine the exact cause of the latest system disturbance.

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