Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja
Nigeria’s power transmission grid collapsed on Tuesday night, a development that led to widespread blackout across the country.
It was learnt that the collapse was due to a fire incident on the Escravos Lagos Pipeline System of the Nigerian Gas Processing and Transportation Company Limited.
The incident led to a shutdown of the pipeline that supplies gas to six thermal power plants, which prompted the collapse of the country’s electricity grid at 10:20pm on Tuesday.
This was confirmed by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing in a statement issued around 12:44am on Wednesday.
The ministry said it was regrettable that after a sustained period of increasing production and distribution of power since September 2017 to date, the Nigerian Gas Processing and Transportation Company Ltd reported a fire incident on its Escravos Lagos Pipeline System near Okada, Edo State on Tuesday, January 2, 2018.
“The sudden loss of generation due to interruption in gas supply from these stations caused the national transmission grid to trip off around 20:20 on 2nd January 2018. The national transmission grid is owned and operated by the Transmission Company of Nigeria.”
Most of Nigeria’s power generation is from thermal power stations that require gas for fuel.
The gas is produced by oil and gas companies overseen by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and is delivered to the power stations through pipelines owned and operated by NGPTC, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
The FMPWH, however, stated that the TCN and the generation companies were working to restore operation of the national grid.
It said, “Once the national grid is restored, output from the hydroelectric power stations and all other unaffected gas fired thermal power stations will be increased to the extent possible to minimise the impact of loss of generation from the affected power stations while NNPC takes necessary steps to restore gas supply.”
It said the national power grid collapse would be temporary, describing it as a setback.
“We urge members of the public to bear with us as we work to overcome this setback which should be temporary.”