[Premium] Nigerian Fire Causes Grid Collapse (Incl NNPC Update)
This includes an update from state NNPC at the end of original article
Power supply has been restored to many parts of the country after a national grid collapse occurred late January 2, due to a fire outbreak at the Escravos Lagos gas pipeline system (ELPS).
Officials at the Nigerian Gas Processing and Transportation Company confirmed, through the Ministry of Power, that the country's national grid was shut down on Tuesday night, January 2, due to the fire.
Addressing the problem January 3, the country's minister for power, Babatunde Fashola, said the authorities had seen to the restoration of power to some parts of the country.
ELPS is owned and controlled by the state-owned Transmission Company of Nigeria and usually supplies gas to various gas-fired power plants like Egbin, Omotosho and Olorunsogo which, together, supply more than 2,000 MW to the national grid.
However, power supply deficits are a problem that has become a part of everyday life in Nigeria, as many rely on other sources of electricity like the use of inverter systems and generators.
Although TCN and some power generation companies are said to be working to restore operations, so that hydropower stations and other unaffected power plants can pick up the slack, nothing has been said about the cause of the Escravos fire.
During the 22nd power sector operators meeting in December 2017, minister Fashola said the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had worked hard to increase power production. But he added that, although Nigeria could in theory generate over 7,000 MW, only 5,000 MW can be currently put on the grid, with some 2,000 MW of generation capacity stranded at a time when many still require power.
Going further, he said in 2018, the government would ensure getting the remaining 2,000 MW grid-connected quickly through forthcoming projects like the Azura 450 MW, Gbarain 115 MW, Kashimbilla 40 MW, Afam III 240 MW, Gurara 30 MW, Dadin Kowa 29 MW and Kaduna 215 MW projects.
Update as of 9.30pm UK time: State-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) indicated this evening, January 3, that the Escravos Lagos gas pipeline system (ELPS) fire outbreak emanated from bushfire. NNPC group managing director, Maikanti Baru, has ordered an assessment of ELPS, saying that in order to stop the fire – still burning as of this January 3 evening – the line has to be isolated and depressurised. For now, gas supply to Lagos, Ondo and Ogun states remains affected.