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Nigeria: Nationwide Blackout As Power Grid Collapses Again

The national power grid collapsed yesterday, causing a nationwide outage as the entire system crashed due to the loss of 1,100 megawatts from a 3,700mw peak generation earlier recorded.

This was just as airline operators in Nigeria yesterday warned that they have only three days left to shut down operations over lingering scarcity of aviation fuel.

For the power sector, as at yesterday afternoon, the system was yet to pick up load, according to a grid operations report, which showed that just three Generation Companies (Gencos) were trying to restart, but were yet to generate any energy.

THISDAY learnt that Minister of Power, Mr. Abubakar Aliyu, called an emergency meeting yesterday to resolve all outstanding issues with the stakeholders in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) as a result of the worsening power situation.

According to the grid operation trend, of the active 25 Gencos on the grid, 19 were producing power as of 6am, when the grid had 3,867.60MW, but that began to reduce gradually until it dropped to 2,761.20MW by 10am after six Gencos went down, leaving just 13, before crashing to zero at 10.40 am.

THISDAY learnt that at least 1,100MW was initially lost from the 3,867MW peak generation before the Gencos started shutting down.

The analysis showed that the affected plants included Azura-Edo IPP (Gas), which was generating 447MW earlier, and Shiroro hydropower, which had 300MW earlier and later went off. Trans-Amadi (Gas) lost 92MW, Alaoji NIPP (Gas) lost 75MW, while Ihovbor NIPP (Gas) lost 101MW.

As of yesterday, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), which manages the power grid, had yet to comment on the immediate cause of the collapse, although, it was the first in the year.

The blackout had worsened throughout the country around 10:40am, after the national grid collapsed, with the Eko Electricity Distribution Company, confirming the incident in a text message to its customers.

The text message read, "Dear esteemed customers, a system collapse occurred on the national grid at 10:40am today, leading to outages across our network. We are working on the situation with our TCN partners and will keep you updated.

"We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience this may have caused."

Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) also pleaded for the understanding of its customers, noting that it is taking appropriate steps to ameliorate the effect.

The Disco stated, "Dear esteemed customer, we experienced general outage across AEDC network at 10:40am today due to a system collapse which occurred on the national grid.

"Appropriate measures are now being taken to restore normal supply as quickly as possible. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience."

While confirming the system collapse yesterday, Kaduna Electricity assured its customers that power would soon be restored.

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