Why Massive Blackout May Persist In The South-West

PowerKonnect has exclusively gathered that the South-West region of the country may be worst hit by the current power outage in the country. The country experienced its first total power system collapse on 2nd January 2018 at 21.17 hours (09.00PM). While some parts of the country will experience partial restoration of power, most parts of South-West region especially Lagos and Ogun will be subjected to massive rolling load-shedding as the crisis continues to linger.

The total power system collapse, PowerKonnect later gathered, was due to heavy fire outbreak on the Escravos Lagos gas pipeline responsible for supplying gas to Egbin, Omotoso I & II, Olorunsogo I & II generating stations, all located in the South-West.

According to report received from sources inside the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC), the fire accident was caused by some encamped Fulani Herdsmen while attempting to make fire for heating and warmth in the forest in a bid to combat the harmattan cold. Unknown to them, a section of the gas pipeline running along the area was already exposed to massive leakages due to activities of pipeline vandals. It was revealed that some farmers in the nearby villages located in Delta State had tried without success to report the leakages to the concerned agencies when they perceived odour suspected to be gas.

The incident has resulted into serious disruptions of gas supply to major gas fired plants, forcing the power industry to rely more on the hydro stations which can only supply about 30% of the country’s load demand. At present, Egbin power station, the largest in the country is on zero MW.

According to reports received from the Nigerian Electricity System Operator (NESO), a subsidiary of the Transmission Company of Nigeria responsible for the secure operation of the national grid, the system has continued to experience collapse due to overloading of the grid from the Lagos axis. This has forced the agency to drastically curtail power supply to Lagos, Ogun and Oyo states. This, according to NESO is to give room for uninterrupted power to Abuja in view of heavy government presence in the city.

While contractors have been mobilized to site by NGC to ensure quick fix of the section of the pipeline affected by the fire incident, the power outage and rolling load-shedding thus created may persist in the South-West for some time until situation will be restored to normal

 

Posted by Leye Akinmodiro

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