•As fire guts 2 units of Egbin Power
•Firm recovers, promises over 800MW today
By Udeme Akpan & Obas Esiedesa
THE nation’s electricity generation, weekend, dropped to 3,835.3 megawatts, MW, from 4,449.8MW, recorded a week ago, indicating a decrease of 13.8 per cent, due mainly to the outbreak of fire at Egbin Power Plant.
The incident, according to data obtained from the System Operator, an autonomous unit of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, also affected transmission and distribution of electricity to consumers nationwide.
Checks by Vanguard on national grid data showed that as at 3pm yesterday, Delta Power was the highest generator with 497MW; Kainji Hydro, 414MW; Geregu Power, 396MW; and Jebba Hydro, 336MW.
Other plants generating above the 100MW mark are Azura-Edo 284MW; Afam VI 215MW; Shiroro Hydro 207MW; Rivers IPP 153MW and Geregu NIPP 116MW.
Egbin, Nigeria’s largest power plant with 1,320MW capacity had been completely off the national grid since a fire incident last Wednesday.
In an interview with Vanguard, President, Nigeria Consumer Protection Network, Kunle Kola Olubiyo, said the supply situation had impacted negatively on the nation’s ease of doing business.
He said: “Any time there is power outages in any part of Nigeria, it always increases the cost of doing business and it is a known fact that the grid sourced is far cheaper than the use of alternative sources of power.
“The Aggregate of Technical, Collection and Commercial Losses (ATC & C) arising from the incident is huge and preventable. Moving forward, necessary steps should be taken to enhance different layers of System Protective Devices, SPD, to mitigate future occurrences.”
However, in a telephone interview with Vanguard, yesterday, the group managing director, Sahara Group, owners of Egbin Power Plc, Kola Adesina, said the fire affected only two units, but others had to be shut down to avoid it from spreading.
Specifically, he said: “It was not a major incident. We simply shut down the plant to prevent a spread.
“Already, we have restored generation in three units. By Monday, we are hoping to get four units working, meaning that over 800MW will be added to the national grid.”
The company had earlier explained steps taken to restore the units.
It had stated: “Unit (STO5) was put back in service and synchronised to the national grid at 7:57 p.m. on February 4, 2022 and is back on stream generating 220MW.
“The technical team at the plant is working tirelessly to ensure that an additional 660MW is added to the grid before the weekend runs out.
“Egbin continues to work with the regulatory authorities and other stakeholders to achieve full restoration in line with global health, safety, and environmental standards.
“While thanking our employees, the public, our partners and stakeholders for their support, cooperation and understanding, we use this medium to reiterate our commitment to bringing energy to life responsibly through save, innovative and sustainable power generation.”
Similarly, TCN had also stated: “TCN hereby inform the general public that the ongoing load shedding in the Lagos axis is as a result of the fire incident which occurred in Egbin Power station on Wednesday this week, which necessitated the shutdown of all the power generating units in the power station. With the shutdown of the units, a total of 630MW was removed from the grid.
“The removal of 630MW from the grid at the same time means that TCN had to strive to ensure that it achieves generation load balance to maintain the stability of the grid. This it did by reducing bulk electricity to Lagos, to avoid overloading the 330kV lines within the state, while the third unit at the Shiroro Station was tied. These were necessary to avoid the collapse of the nation’s grid.
“Meanwhile, Egbin Power Station is working assiduously to ensure a full restoration of its generating units to the grid and until this happens, TCN will continue to do all it can to keep the grid stable.
“TCN will continue the evacuation of generated power from Egbin Power Station as soon as the station resumes power generation.”