DAILY COURIER – Nigeria’s power sector hit an all-time low yesterday.
The national grid collapsed to zero Megawatts (Mw) in less than three hours.
The collapse resulted in another round of national blackout, the fifth this year.
The grid first hit the zero Mw at 11:28 am and 12 noon, but was restored negligibly to four mw with only Omoku Power Plant in Rivers State and Shiroro Plant in Niger State, producing three mw and 1mw.
At 12:48 pm, the grid rose to 40mw, which the Nigerian Electricity System Operator of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) sent to only the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC). This left the other DisCos with zero allocation.
Besides, at 14:59pm, the grid again collapsed to zero Mw.
TCN General Manager (Public Affairs) Ndidi Mbah did not respond to The Nation telephone calls on the cause of the collapse. She was also silent on a text message to her mobile telephone line.
But Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC), Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDC) and Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company which informed their customers of the development, said TCN experts were working to restore supply.
The energy distributors apologised to customers for the negative impacts of the blackout.
EKEDC wrote: “Dear customers, we regret to inform you of a system collapse on the national grid at 11:27a.m today(yesterday), July 20.
“We are in talks with the TCN to ascertain the cause of the collapse and a possible restoration timeline. We will keep you updated.”
In its message titled: “Power failure due to grid collapse,” KEDC said: “This is to inform the public that the country’s electricity grid has, on Wednesday(yesterday), collapsed, causing a blackout throughout the country.
“However, experts from TCN are working to address the challenge to restore power supply.
“While we apologise for any inconveniences, we assure everyone of improved supply as soon as we get energy from the national grid.”
Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company also wrote: “We regret to inform our customers that the power failure currently being experienced is a result of the collapse of the national grid which occurred by 11:28 this morning.
“We hereby assure our esteemed customers of restoration of normal power supply to us.”
NDPHC: Our stranded 2,000Mw not evacuated
Amid the collapse, Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) said it had 2,000Mw which the National Control Centre (NCC), Osogbo, failed to evacuate.
It accused the centre of preferring to evacuate energy generated by private companies because of a favourable power purchase agreement.
The power holding company also said 32 per cent of electricity generated in the country is lost during transmission and distribution.
The NDPHC added that since the privatisation of the power sector, it has recorded over N3 trillion deficit in eight years.
Its Executive Director, Ifeoluwa Oyedele, spoke to reporters while presenting a paper at the International Power Engineering Exhibition & Conference in Abuja.
Oyedele explained that NCC prefers the independent power producers because of an agreement it (government) signed.
“They (government) wants them to recoup their money. Because the NDPHC plants are publicly owned, the Federal Government uses them to subsidise,” he added.