Power Grid Collapsed 21 Times in Six Months

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The nation’s power grid recorded 21 collapses in the first half of the year, industry data obtained by our correspondent on Wednesday showed.

The national grid completely collapsed 16 times in the first six months of the year, while five partial collapses were recorded in the period.

In the whole of 2015 and 2014, the grid collapsed 10 and 13 times respectively, with four partial collapses each.

The latest total system collapse was recorded on June 28, 2016, according to the data.

Electricity supply to households and businesses across the country dropped significantly in May as the national grid recorded six total collapses and one partial collapse.

In June, the grid recorded five total collapses and three partial collapses, with the latest occurring on June 11.

The total national power generation stood at 2,604.5MW as of 6am on Friday, down from a peak of 5,074.7MW on February 2, according to the Ministry of Power.

Generation from Egbin, the nation’s biggest power station, stood at 187MW on July 6, down from 1,085MW on March 15.

Increasing gas constraints largely occasioned by recent attacks on pipelines in the Niger Delta have left over 4,000MW of the nation’s power generation capacity idle.

Other factors limiting electricity generation are line constraints/load rejection by the distribution companies and water management/maintenance, according to industry data obtained by correspondent.

Gas constraints prevented 3,810MW from being generated on July 6, while 355.7MW could not be generated due to line constraints/load rejection by Discos.

The nation generates most of its electricity from gas-fired power plants, while output from hydro-power plants make up about 30 per cent of total generation.

As of June 3, the unutilised generation capacity was 4,016.6MW, with 3,661.1MW due to gas constraints; 355.6MW caused by line constraints/rejection by Discos and 380MW as a result of water management/maintenance.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, at a recent public lecture, said, “In our road map to incremental power, we are looking at what we have and what we can get out of them.

“We have 26 power plants (including the AES plant), three of the plants are powered by water, the hydro power plants in Jebba, Kainji and Shiroro. The remainder are powered by gas.”

He put the total number of turbines, which should actually generate power from 25 power plants (excluding AES), at140 turbines with installed capacity of 12,341MW.

“At the best of times, only about 78 turbines are generating power which gave us our peak of 5,074 MW.

“The problems have been identified as either damaged, unmaintained or unserviced turbines in the hydro power plants, and in the cases of gas plants, it is largely non-availability of gas, coupled with lack of maintenance,” Fashola said.

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