National grid collapse: Power Minister releases update on electricity restoration strategy

 

Oredola Adeola

The Federal Government has released the strategies being adopted to restore and add more power to the national grid, this is against the backdrop of the total collapse on the grid which occurred twice last week, leading to blackout across the country.

According to the statement signed and released by Engineer Abubakar Aliyu, Minister of Power, on Saturday, following the emergency meeting held on March 14, 2022, towards the restoration of normal supply of electricity supply nationwide and the development of a framework for sustainable improvement of supply, we are pleased to appraise consumers with an update on the progress so far made to address the recent challenges in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry(NESI).

The Minister noted that the national grid lost about 1,100 MegaWatts generation capacity as a consequence of simultaneous disruption in gas supply to Okpai , Calabar and the ongoing water management regime at the Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro power plants.

He disclosed  that the government has introduced some initiatives in a bid to curtail the persistent electricity blackout. Some of the measures according to the Minister include restoration of the gas pipeline affected by acts of vandalism which led to the resumption of power generation on the Okpai power plant currently contributing an average of 300MW.

He said, “The Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc has been directed to enter into fast-track negotiation with the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) on an interim energy sales agreement with a view to bringing the new Okpai Il power plant on the grid thereby contributing an additional 400mw of generation capacity.

“The “pigging” of the gas pipeline supplying gas to the Odukpani power plant is scheduled for completion on March 21, 2022 thus ramping up generation by about 400mw.

“In order to optimise the capacity utilisation of the power plants owned by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Ltd (NDPHC), the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has approved a special gas pricing for emergency contracting of gas from the Nigerian Gas Marketing Company Ltd. We expect an on-grid improvement of about 800M YV generation capacity from the NDPHC plants.

The Minister said, “In the medium-term, the government has agreed with the Nigeria Gas and Power Investment Company (NGPIC) a subsidiary of NNPC, on the framework for the overhaul of the Okoloma gas processing plant thereby restoring the full capacity of the 650MW Afam VI combined cycle power plant.

Engineer Aliyu revealed that the recent spate of system collapse is regrettable, adding that the issue was a direct consequence of a snap on a 330kV transmission line.

The Minister further said that the mitigation measures for avoiding such incidence of blackouts are being implemented through several interventions including the Presidential Power Initiative.

EnergyDay has earlier reported the government claims that low power generation in the country was as a result of sabotage of gas pipelines leading to the shutdown of power plants coupled with ongoing routine maintenance on other gas power plants.

 

Engr. Aliyu however stated that the relevant agencies involved in the restoration of normalcy in the power supply have been charged to act in the context of the emergency state of the industry.

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