Nationwide Blackout: Another System Collapse Compounds Woes

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By ‘Dotun Akintomide

Less than 24 hours after a system collapse was expressed within the Lagos transmission region, the blackout woes spread across Nigeria Wednesday after efforts by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to restore electricity failed, following a second system collapse of transmission network at exactly 14.19 hours.

According to TCN, the second system failure occurred when the Odukpani-Ikot Ekpene 330kV transmission line tripped, cutting off electricity generation and transmission from the Odukpani power station to the grid.

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A statement Wednesday by the company’s General Manager, Public Affairs, Mrs. Ndidi Mbah, however, assured Nigerians that restoration of the grid had reached an advanced stage.

TCN added that it had also commenced investigations to determine the exact cause of the system disturbance.

“The system disturbance happened at a time when work on the Western Gas Pipeline (Ecscavos-Lagos Pipeline System) by the Nigerian Gas Processing and Transportation Company Ltd (NGPTC), which caused a system collapse at about 21.17 hours on Tuesday was yet to be completed.

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“The grid would have withstood the Odukpani infraction, if generation along Lagos region was available,” said TCN in the statement.

TCN explained that NGPTC, the gas supply and marketing subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), had indicated that a contractor had been mobilised to repair the affected segment of the Escravos-Lagos pipeline, so that gas supply to the Omotosho, Egbin, and Olorunsogo I and II thermal power stations could be restored.

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“According to NGC, work would be carried out day and night and is expected to be completed within 24 hours,” TCN assured the public.

The TCN stated that with the support of the Ministries of Power and Finance it had embarked on the implementation of a Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme (TREP) aimed at expanding, rehabilitating and stabilising the national grid, and appealed to Nigerians to be patient with it.

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The national grid had collapsed on Tuesday night following a fire incident reported by the NGPTC on its Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System near Okada, Edo State.

NNPC had attributed the incident to a bush fire, which spread from Abakila in Ondo State.

The incident led to the shutdown of the pipeline supplying gas to the 1,320MW-capacity Egbin power station in Lagos; 676MW-capacity Olorunsogo NIPP station; 338MW-capacity, Olorunsogo I power station; 450MW-capacity Omotosho NIPP station; and the 338MW-capacity, Omotosho I station.

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