Power Minister claims vandalism on transmission line in Akwa-Ibom responsible for grid failure



Oredola Adeola

The Ministry of Power has claimed that the collapse of the national grid was as a result of act of vandalism on a transmission tower on the Odukpani Ikot Ekpene, 330kV double circuit transmission line, in Akwa Ibom State, resulting in a sudden loss of about 400MW of generation. This was contained in a statement released on Saturday by Engr. Abubakar D. Aliyu.

According to the Minister, the statement is sequel to the investigation conducted on the root cause of the grid-collapse which was responsible for power outages that affected most parts of the country.

Engr. Aliyu said, “Further to our earlier press release, we wish to apprise the general public that the immediate cause of national blackout (system collapse) was an act of vandalism on a transmission tower on the Odukpani Ikot Ekpene 330kV double circuit transmission line thus resulting in a sudden loss of about 400MW of generation.

“This consequently led to a cascade of plants shut down across the country,” the Minister said.

EnergyDay’s check showed that the loss of about 400MW of generation was out of the 4093.7MW peak generation as at Friday when the incident happened.

Further investigation showed that about 461.8MW of electricity was recorded to have been generated and transmitted from available power plants to the grid system as at 6a.m on Saturday April 9.

The Power Minister however assured electricity customers affected by the collapse  that power on the grid is being restored sequentially by the System Operator.

He added that other on-grid power plants are being dispatched to cover the lost generation capacity from the Calabar power plant owned by the Niger Power Holding Company Ltd.

EnergyDay gathered that the investigation was conducted by  by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission and System Operator (the operator of the national grid).

The Minister had earlier in a statement on Saturday acknowledged that the grid failure occurred at 1830hrs on April 8th, 2022 resulting in power outages in many parts of the country.

According to him, the Federal Government is working assiduously to deliver on the much-needed reforms and investments, including SCADA, that are critical to improving the capacity and reliability of the national grid.

As at the period of writing this report, EnergyDay noted that power has not been restored to all the network areas affected by the grid system collapse.