Nigeria’s grid collapses again

Data showed the supply of power fell to around 50 MW early on Monday from 4020 MW the previous day.


Nigeria’s grid collapses again

Image for illustration purposes.

Nigeria, Lagos: Nigeria’s grid collapsed for the fifth time this year in the early hours of Monday, highlighting its inability to provide reliable power less than two weeks after raising tariffs for wealthier consumers by 230%. A fire erupted at a power plant in the south just before 3 a.m. plunging large parts of the country into darkness, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) said. The system was restored by the early afternoon. No details were given on how many people were affected.

Nigeria’s electricity regulator on April 3 approved an increase in tariffs for the 15% of consumers who use the most power, as the government tries to reduce the $2.6 billion worth of subsidies for the sector. The head of the Nigerian electricity regulator, Musiliu Oseni, defended the increase saying it would mean an end to grid collapses and bring investment.

According to TCN, a fire erupted at the Afam V 330 kV bus bar coupler, leading to the tripping of units at Afam III and Afam VI. This resulted in a sudden generation loss of 25 MW and 305 MW respectively, destabilizing the grid. Data showed the supply of power fell to around 50 MW early on Monday from 4020 MW the previous day. By the late afternoon, checks showed that power distribution companies had 2450 MW available to distribute and some areas were only seeing a gradual restoration of power.

Nigeria faces perennial power shortages which have contributed to years of weak economic growth. Its electricity sector faces many problems, including a failing grid, gas shortages, high debt and vandalism. The country has 12500 MW of installed capacity, but produces only a quarter of that, leaving many Nigerians reliant on expensive diesel-powered generators.

Source: Reuters