Power supply collapses

Power supply collapses

Over 2,000MW lost
Gas shortage cripples 18 power plants

Blackout in Lagos, Oyo, Ekiti, Ondo, Ogun, Abuja, Niger, others

NIGERIANS were yesterday told to brace for more hardship – power supply will get worse.
A terrible fuel shortage has shut down cities and businesses, forcing many who cannot afford the high transport fares to trek.

As the government and fuel marketers battled yesterday in Abuja to resolve the problem, the news was broken that power supply had fallen to 727 Mega Watts (MW) – no thanks to the Sunday system collapse at the Shiroro Power Plant. Power Supply was 1,327 Mega Watts (MW) last week – a far cry from the 200,000MW Nigeria requires.

Shiroro is a 600MW hydro electric plant on River Kaduna in Shiroro, Niger State.

Abuja, Kogi, Nasarawa and Niger states are experiencing an unprecedented load shedding. The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) has only 15 Mega Watts (MW). Residents are grumbling.

“Up to about 18.50hours (or 6.50pm), only sensitive installations within the Central Business District of Abuja are on electricity supply,” a source said.
The electricity supply became critical in Ogun, Ekiti, Osun and Ondo states in the last one week.

In the last four days, electricity supply in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, has been at the lowest ebb. The city has been in total darkness.

The scarcity of petroleum products also compounded the crisis as virtually all petrol stations have closed down.

In some parts of the city including Apata and Odo-Ona, residents said there has been no electricity supply for over two weeks

The Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) which supplies power to Edo, Ondo and Ekiti states, has been running a jingle on Adaba FM, urging the people to bear with it. According to the jingle, the low supply from the national grid is responsible for the problem.
Spokesman of BEDC in Ekiti State Mr. Ilori Brown could not be reached on telephone last night.

Last Thursday, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Power, Ambassador Godknows Igali, was reported to have said that power generation nationwide had dropped from 4,800MW to 1,327MW, leading to the massive load shedding across the country.

The AEDC has been sending sms to its customers to apologise for the colossal drop in supply.

The source added: “ You may also have received my company’s apology via a Bulk SMS we sent out to GSM subscribers in FCT, Kogi, Nasarawa and Niger states, in which we explained the cause of the huge drop in supply to our customers, in view of the heavy drop in allocation to AEDC from the national grid, from about 450MW daily to less than 200MW in recent times.

“In fact, our allocation for Friday, May 22, 2015 was 145MW, while both Saturday and Sunday, May 23 and 24, 2015, was 115.6MW. And the situation has been worsened by the system collapse at Shiroro this evening, which brought our supply down to 15MW.”

Also yesterday, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) said 18 of the 23 power plants in the country are unable to produce electricity due to shortage of gas supply for the thermal plants.

NERC chairman Dr. Sam Amadi said : “At present, 18 of the 23 power plants in the country are unable to generate electricity due to shortage of gas supply to the thermal plants with one of the hydro stations faced with water management issue. This has led to loss of over 2,000 megawatts in the national grid.”

According to him, in the last couple of months, electricity supply has been generally poor on account of increase in vandalism in the run-up to the April 2015 elections.
But this bad supply condition, he said, has worsened in the last few days.

The chairman noted that the situation is compounded by the recent industrial actions embarked upon by workers in the oil and gas industry, a development which is taking a toll on other sectors of the economy.

He said gas supplies to the thermal plants had been further constrained by the industrial action in the oil and gas sector.

The statement reads in part: “The Commission had proactively engaged the gas supply companies and its licencees when two weeks ago discussion was held on how to firm up gas supply in order to increase power supply.

Unfortunately, not much progress was made through this meeting as NNPC and its subsidiary Nigeria Gas Company, disclosed of high incidence of vandalism in some areas that were relatively peaceful along its pipeline networks.

“That meeting was told of the damage done to Trans-Forcados pipeline in the western axis and elps gas pipeline in the eastern axis. Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation had explained at the meeting that repair works are being intensified even as it expressed worry on the integrity of the pipelines on account of incessant damage it has sustained.

“In essence, what has brought about this development is the increased incidence of vandalism which is beyond the control of the regulator and the industry operators. This situation is further compounded by the industry actions declared by the oil and gas workers.

“However, we have continued to engage with relevant authorities on how fast we can address shortage of gas supply to the thermal plants. We are also engaging with the industry operators on how to improve electricity supply.

“The Commission regrets the hardship which Nigerians are being subjected to on account of this development as we intensify efforts to bring the situation under control in the shortest possible time.”

Banks in the North and GSM companies sent messages on either likely disruption of service or early closure of operations.

Some of the banks which shut out customers at about 1pm are GTB, Skye and Fidelity.

But the Board and Management of Jos Electricity Distribution company attributed the outage to zero allocation of power from the Grid.

Of the 19 states in the North, about 10 and the FCT are experiencing outage.
But some of the worst-hit states are Niger, Plateau, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Gombe, Benue and the FCT.

As of 8pm, both the transmission and distribution companies managing some parts of the North attributed the outage to a system collapse which has resulted in zero allocation of power from the Grid.

The Board and Management of Jos Electricity Distribution Plc (JED PLC) and the Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited, Concessionaires of Kainji and Jebba Power Plants have, however, called for calm.

The Board and Management of Jos Electricity Distribution Plc (JED PLC) said: “We would like to appeal to our valued customers to remain calm in the face of the dwindling power supply currently experienced all over the country.

“The Company is doing everything possible to ensure quality service and customer satisfaction in the delivery of electricity to the customers.

“The company in the last few days has experienced total blackout throughout the Distribution Network following a system collapse that resulted in a zero allocation of power from the Grid.

“Over the past few months, we have engaged the system operator on improved power supply or at least our entitled load allocation in the Multi- Year Tariff Order (MYTO).

“While we thank you for your understanding and patience in this trying period, we wish to assure you that we are doing everything humanly possible to improve the quality of service to our customers.

“We further call on our esteemed customers to ensure timely payment of their bills to enable us discharge our obligations to the market operator and its customers.”

Reacting, the Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited said: “Our attention has been drawn to reports by a section of the media to the effect that the Power System Collapse which occurred around 4pm on Sunday, 24th May, 2015 occasioning outage in Abuja and other parts of the country was caused by a breakdown at Jebba Hydro Electric Power Station.

“It has become necessary to enlighten the Nigerian public and to set the records straight.

“Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited, Concessionaires of Kainji and Jebba Power Plants, wish to state clearly that there has been no breakdown at Kainji and Jebba plants.

“Precisely, Jebba Plant has 5nos. Generating Units with combined available capacity of 400MW, while Kainji has 4nos. Generating Units with combined available capacity of 305 MW.

“As at the time the system collapse occurred, the generating Units were on the National Grid. The Units Separated due to the National Grid failure.

“It should also be noted that effort has been made by the National Control Center to Black Start the System using Kainji Power Plant. Kainji and Jebba Power Plants remain available to supply power as soon as the National grid is restored.

“Finally, since Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited took over Kainji and Jebba plants in November, 2013, the company has not only stabilised operations of the power plants but has also increased generation capacity of the plants despite various frustrations.”

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Posted By BOBRICKY On 06:50 Tue, 26 May 2015

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