Power supply across the country continued its free fall as the national electricity grid went to zero from the about 2,243 megawatts mid-day yesterday before it was restored, officials said.
Sources from the 11 distribution companies (Discos) said there was an earlier decline to 2,243mw yesterday. The situation went bad on Tuesday with a significant power outage, but on Wednesday at at12:58pm, there was a total system collapse with all the Discos receiving zero allocation, an official said in Abuja yesterday.
Reports said the Abuja Disco got 257megawatts less than half of its daily allocation before the total system collapse.
It was the second time the grid was experiencing a collapse in March 2016. Earlier in the month, sources at some power generating stations said gas supply to most of the gas-fired plants was constrained due to the industrial action by the oil and gas workers’ protest over the purported unbundling of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
With the a combined operating capacity, the hydropower plants in Kainji/Jebba and Shiroro all in Niger State have barely up to 2,000mw. They were then forced to ramp up generation due to the shutdown of some gas-fired generation companies (Gencos).
This resulted in a partial system collapse at the Shiroro Genco, forcing load allocation to the 11 distributions companies to further decline.
Confirming the acute power shortage then, Kano Disco said only 50mw was allocated to it instead of the average 350mw. Abuja Disco then received 132mw instead of the 450mw daily allocation.
Meanwhile, the Managing Director of the System Operator (SO) arm of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Mr. Dipak Sarma, said yesterday that the system had been restored.
“Yes, but it has been restored long ago,” Mr. Sarmasaid . He did not give reasons for the collapse, but the spokesman for the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) earlier said it was caused by vandalism of gas infrastructure and lower gas supply to the power stations.
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