Electric power generation drops by 1,000MW as Shell pipeline breaks

Electricity
Electricity
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A sudden collapse in power generation across six thermal stations has led to the loss of 1,087.6 mega watts (MW) of electricity from the national grid.

The dip in power generation resulted from a gas pipeline rupture and other technical issues at Shell gas wells.

The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) in reaction to the development stated that the gas pipeline rupture on June 15, 2018, as well as technical issues at the Shell gas wells on June 16, caused there has been a sharp drop in generation from the grid by averaging a total of 1,087.6MW, resulting in load-shedding nationwide, necessary to maintain stability of the grid.

Due to the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC), pipeline incident, TCN said that the six (6) thermal power generating stations are currently generating zero megawatts of electricity and have therefore been shut down.

The affected power stations included; Ihovbor, Azura, Omotosho gas, Geregu gas, Olorunsogo gas, Sapele and the Egbin Power Station which managed to generate 60MW only on each of its units, losing a total of 211MW.

But, a spokesperson for the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) in response to Daily Sun inquiry said “There was a minor electrical problem at our remote gas manifold on Saturday, June 16, 2018 which resulted in a temporary disruption of gas supply to Afam VI. The electrical problem was resolved under three hours and normal supply of gas restored to Afam VI.

The Afam VI power plant is now up and running and available to deliver its net dependable capacity of 624MW into the national grid.”

According to TCN General Manager, Public Affairs, Mrs. Ndidi Mbah, with a total loss of 1,087.6MW into the grid, the transmission system has become quite fragile. She however assured that TCN was working hard to avert a collapse of the system, by engaging in load-shedding.

Load-shedding, she explained, is to ensure that available generation is commensurate with what is allocated to discos nationwide, to create a balance and avert grid instability.

She explained further that NGC was making efforts to ensure that the gas pipeline issues are resolved in order to restore normal gas supply to the affected power generating stations, to enable them generate into the grid.

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TCN noted that there has been no collapse of the grid as being reported, adding that, the company was appealing for understanding while assuring that its engineers are working hard to continue to maintain the stability of the grid, pending completion of repairs of the gas pipeline by NGC and restoration of full gas supply to the affected generating stations.

Meanwhile, data from the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing on Friday showed that the grid collapsed on June 8, bringing the number of total collapses recorded so far this year to seven.

Following the collapse of the grid, total electricity generation plunged to 2,202.40MW as of 6am on June 9, down from 3,669.20MW on June 8.

Fifteen out of the nation’s 27 power plants were not generating any megawatts as of 6am on June 9, as the collapse led to the shutdown of five additional plants, including Egbin in Lagos.

The other affected plants were Sapele I, Geregu I, Sapele II and Alaoji, joining Afam IV & V, Geregu II, Olorunsogo II, Odukpani II, Gbarain, AES, ASCO, Omoku, Trans-Amadi and Rivers on the list of idle plants.

As of June 12, generation rose to 3,720.60MW as Egbin, Geregu, Alaoji and Omoku came back on stream, while 10 plants remained idle, according to the latest data from the ministry.

Electricity on the grid increased to 3,992.60MW on Friday, June 15, according to generation figures obtained from the Nigeria Electricity System Operator, an arm of the Transmission Company of Nigeria.

The system operator put the nation’s installed generation capacity at 11,165.40MW; available capacity at 7,139.60MW; current transmission capacity at 7,000MW; network operational capacity at 5,500MW and the peak generation ever attained at 5,222.3MW.

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