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National blackouts as grid collapses from 3,922 to 50MW

- July 21, 2022

Nigeria’s power grid collapsed again on Wednesday, as it crashed from the 3,921.8 megawatts that was generated at 6am to as low as 50MW around 12.23pm, causing widespread blackout across the country.

Industry figures obtained from the Federal Ministry of Power in Abuja showed that power generation on the grid had hit a peak of 4,091.6MW on Tuesday.

But this dropped to 3,921.8MW on Wednesday morning, before crashing to about 50MW, a development that led to the eventual collapse of the national electricity grid.

Additional data on the country’s distribution load profile seen by our correspondent revealed that only the Abuja and Ibadan distribution companies received 40MW and 10MW of electricity load respectively as at 12.23pm on Wednesday.

Other Discos got zero allocation due to the system failure as at the time of the power grid collapse.

Some power distribution companies confirmed the collapse various notifications to their customers, for instance, the Eko Electricity Distribution Company said the grid collapse occurred at about 11:27am.

In a tweet via its verified Twitter handle, the firm said, “Dear customers, we regret to inform you of a system collapse on the national grid at precisely 11:27am today, Wednesday, July 20.

“We are in talks with the Transmission Company of Nigeria to ascertain the cause of the collapse and a possible restoration timeline. We will keep you updated on the situation.”

On its part, Kaduna Electric attributed the power failure in its franchise areas to the collapse of the national grid.

We regret to inform our customers that the power failure currently being experienced is as a result of the collapse of the national grid which occured by 11:28am this (Wednesday) morning,” it stated.

The power firm added, “We hereby assure our esteemed customers of restoration of normal power supply as soon as TCN restores supply to us. We sincerely regret the inconveniences caused by the system failure.”

Also, Kano Electricity Distribution Company said the grid collapse led to blackout nationwide.

“This is to kindly inform the general public that the country’s electricity grid has, on Wednesday, collapsed, causing a blackout throughout the country,” it said.

KEDCO added, “However, experts from TCN are working to address the challenge so as to restore power supply soon. While we apologise for any inconveniences, we herewith assure improved supply as soon as we get supply from the national grid.”

Experts and operators attributed the collapse to incessant vandalism of power infrastructure as well as the rupturing of gas pipelines that supplied gas to power plants.

The collapse of Nigeria’s power grid on Wednesday made it the sixth time that the system had crashed in 2022. On June 13, it was reported the grid collapsed.

The nation’s power system collapsed twice in March and twice again in April this year.

Power generation on the grid had continued to fluctuate due to various concerns such as gas constraints, water management challenges, and gas pipeline vandalism, among others.

In April, it was also reported that the quantum of electricity on the grid crashed from over 3,000MW on April 8, 2022, to as low as 10MW around 21.00 hours the same day.

The report further stated that another collapse of the grid occurred on April 9, 2022, as the nation’s power system collapsed to 33MW around 01.00 hours after it had earlier posted a peak generation of 3,281.50MW at 00.00 hours the same day.

Also, the national grid collapsed twice in March and this happened within a space of two days, a development that made the Federal Government summon a meeting of stakeholders to address the issue.

The Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, Garba Sanusi, had identified low gas supply, vandalism, and infrastructural challenges as some of the challenges hindering improved power generation and supply across the country.

Reacting on Wednesday, the National President, Electricity Consumers Association of Nigeria, James, said electricity consumers were tired of the frequent system collapses.

He questioned why NERC should still set a target of 5,000MW when Nigerian consumers were told years ago that the generation capacity was over 6,000MW.

“We are therefore surprised that in 2022, NERC is promising delivery of 5000MW. This does not give consumers confidence that the current situation will change for the better soonest,” he said.

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