Nigeria: Grid Collapse – What We’re Doing to Improve Power Supply – Minister

The government says it has upgraded three plants and is feeding gas to others to raise output.

The federal government says it has upgraded the Okpai, Odukpani and Alam VI power plants as part of efforts to improve power supply in the country.

The government said this on Saturday following the recent collapse of the national grid, resulting in nationwide blackout.

The Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, said the government has also directed the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) to begin negotiations with Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) to establish the new Okpai 11 power plant on the grid.

The new power plant will add 400 megawatts of generation capacity, the minister said in a statement.

He said the Presidential Power Initiative has been put in place to mitigate future occurrence of a grid failure.

Many Nigerian cities were thrown into darkness last week after the national grid collapsed. Coming at a time of severe fuel crisis, the outage left homes and businesses without electricity.

Successive Nigerian governments have promised but failed to turn around the country’s power sector which on average produces about 4,000 megawatts for a population of 200 million.

The Buhari administration signed a deal with the Germany’s Siemens to overhaul the sector, but there is yet little to show with the government having a year to complete its two terms of eight years.

Mr Aliyu said the recent outage and collapse of the national grid were linked to poor maintenance and shortage of gas.

“The gas pipeline affected by acts of vandalism has been restored and the Okpai power plant has resumed power generation and currently contributing an average of 300MW,” he said.

“The Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc has been directed to enter into fasttrack negotiations with NAOC on an interim energy sales agreement with a view of bringing the new Okpai Il power plant on the grid thereby contributing an additional 400MW of generation capacity.”

He said the “pigging” of the gas pipeline supplying gas to the Odukpani power plant is expected to take place on March 21, and will increase the generation by about 400 megawatts.

“In order to optimise the capacity utilisation of the power plants owned by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Ltd (NDPHC), the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has approved a special gas pricing for emergency contracting of gas from the Nigerian Gas Marketing Company

Ltd. We expect an on-grid improvement of about 800MW generation capacity from the NDPHC plants,” it said.

The government said it agreed with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s Gas and Power Investment Company Limited (NGPIC a subsidiary of NNPC) “on the framework for the overhaul of the Okoloma gas processing plant thereby restoring the full capacity of the 650MW Alom VI combined cycle power plant”.

“We wish to reassure all electricity consumers that all relevant agencies involved in the restoration of normality in power supply have been charged to act in the context of the emergency state of the industry. The Federal Ministry of Power shall continue to periodically update the nation on the progress,” he said.

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