*Power generation fell from 3,852mw at 6am to as low as 59mw at noon on Sunday
* TCN says normalcy restored
Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
The national electricity power grid collapsed for the first time in 2024 yesterday, again throwing the entire country into total darkness.
It was learnt that power generated on the grid slumped significantly at about 11:51am, falling from about 3,852mw at 6am to as low as 59mw at noon on Sunday.
However, at about 5pm, it had begun to pick, hitting 736mw, even though many parts of Nigeria, including Abuja, the seat of government remained without power supply.
At the time it collapsed, THISDAY checks showed that the grid managed by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) had 20 power plants completely off, with just Ibom Power online.
A nation of over 200 million people, Nigeria still depends on less than 5,000mw to power their homes and businesses on a daily basis, even though individuals self-generate over 40,000mw.
At the time of going to press, Distribution Companies (Discos) were already alerting customers to the situation.
For instance, Kaduna Electric confirmed that the loss of bulk power supply left Kaduna, Sokoto, Zamfara, and Kebbi states in darkness.
“Power supply shall be restored to our customers as soon as we receive same at load centres across our franchise. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience,” Head of corporate communication at Kaduna Electric, Abdulazeez Abdullahi, said.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that Nigeria loses as much as $29 billion, that is 5.8 per cent of its annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP), due to a lack of energy and unreliable power supplies.
On its part, the Abuja Electricity Distribution Plc (AEDC) told its customers to be patient , while the problem was being sorted out by the concerned authorities.
“The Management of Abuja Electricity Distribution Plc (AEDC) wishes to inform its valued customers that the power outage being experienced is as a result of a system failure from the national grid at 11:21 hours today, 4th February 2024 which has led to a nationwide power outage.
“Rest assured that we are working with the relevant stakeholders to restore power as soon as the grid is stabilised. We appeal for your patience,” the company stated.
The TCN which is the only segment of the electricity value chain wholly owned and controlled by the federal government, has variously said that acquiring a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system, which is used for controlling, monitoring, and analysing industrial devices and processes, would markedly reduce supply disruptions.
Meanwhile, the TCN confirmed last night that the grid experienced a partial disturbance, with Ibom power “islanded”, feeding Eket, Ekim, Itu & Uyo transmission substations, during the period of partial disturbance.
TCN said it initiated immediate restoration of the affected part of the grid, and that presently, the grid is fully restored.
“Prior to the incident, total generation on the grid was 3,901.25mw at 08:00 hours, a little over three hours before time of partial collapse. It is important to note that low power generation has persisted since January 2024, to date, exacerbating daily due to the lingering gas constraint.
“According to the National Control Centre (NCC), the Internet of Things (IoT) revealed that just before the partial disturbance, which occurred at 11:21 hours today, Sapele Steam and Egbin Substations lost a total of 29.32mw & 343.84mw at 11:20:14 hours & 11:20:17 hours respectively, totalling 373.16mw.
“This, combined with the current low power generation due to gas constraints, caused the imbalance leading to the partial system disturbance,” a statement signed by the General Manager, Public Affairs, Ndidi Mbah, stated.
According to the statement, gas constraints continue to impact grid flexibility and stability.
“Ensuring sufficient gas supply to power generating stations is crucial for grid stability as sufficient generation allows for better grid management in the event of sudden generation losses like this. TCN will investigate the cause of tripping of Sapele Steam & Egbin power generating units,” Mbah said.