The Federal Government has said that acts of vandalism on critical power infrastructure were responsible for the recent collapse of the national electricity grid and loss of about 1,100MW generation capacity.
It said that the breaches resulted in simultaneous disruptions in gas supply to the Okpai, Calabar and the Afam VI power plants while the available generation capacity, was exacerbated by the ongoing water management regime at the Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro power plants.
Minister of Power, Engr Abubakar Aliyu, who disclosed these yesterday, while giving an update on the progress so far made to address the recent challenges in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, said the government had taken steps towards the restoration of normal supply of electricity nationwide and the development of a framework for sustainable improvement of the system.
Aliyu said that while the recent spate of system collapse was regrettable, it was a direct consequence of a snap on a 330kV transmission line. He assured Nigerians that mitigation measures for avoiding such incidence of blackouts were being implemented through several interventions including the Presidential Power Initiative.
He said that the gas pipeline affected by acts of vandalism has been restored and the Okpai power plant has resumed power generation and currently contributing an average of 300MW.
The minister further disclosed that the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc has been directed to enter into fast-track negotiation with the Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) on an interim energy sales agreement, with a view bringing the new Okpai Il power plant on the grid, thereby contributing additional 400MW of generation capacity.
According to Aliyu, 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 800MW generation capacity from the NDPHC plants. “In the medium-term, we have agreed with 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,” he stated.
Aliyu reassured all electricity consumers that all relevant agencies involved in the restoration of normalcy in power supply have been charged to act in the context of the emergency state of the industry.