Why Nigeria in darkness: 6 power plants shut, generation drops by 1,190 in 35 hours


There is a likelihood of a national power cut already being experienced in some states, after six of the nation’s power plants were shut down between Thursday and Saturday, causing a drastic drop in power generation.

The Daily Leaks finding shows that at exactly between 8:15 p.m. on Thursday and 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, after the shut down of the six plants, power generation had plunged by 1,190.3 megawatts.

As of Sunday, the issues had further degenerated as it was found out that 11 power plants – Afam IV&V, Geregu II, Sapele II, Alaoji, Olorunsogo II, Ihovbor, Gbarain, Ibom Power, AES, ASCO and Rivers IPP, had been idle and were not generating any megawatts of electricity as of 6:00 a.m. on Saturday.

The Nigerian Electricity System Operator had hinted that the total power generation in the country fell to 3,385 megawatts as of 6:00 a.m. on Saturday from a peak of 4,575.3 megawatts as of 8:15 p.m. on Thursday.

But in its latest report on power supply status on all 132/33/11KV interface substation, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), had said it identified all the interface stations with capacity limitations and requested the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to prioritise them in its short-term projects.

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NERC asked the Discos to improve on vegetation management, especially in this raining season, to improve the reliability of the feeders.

The power generation problems

The shutting down which began on Thursday, initially affected only Sapele II, Olorunsogo II, ASCO, AES and Gbarain, all got closed down at exactly 8:15 p.m.

These were followed by Rivers IPP, said to have been shut down due to youths restiveness; while the Ibom Power’s GT1 was said to be having inlet guide vane problem, and GT2 out due to fire outbreak on the control panel, and GT3 out due to low load demand by the distribution companies.

At Gbarain, the gas pipeline were said to have ruptured; and at Ihovbor, the plant was said to have become idle because of low load demand by Discos and gas constraint.

The gas constraint at Olorunsogo forced the shut down of the GT2 and GT3, while the GT1 was out on inspection; and GT4 due to cooling water system leakage.

The low load demand by the Discos at Alaoji caused the GT1 and GT2 to be out; GT3 out due to gas constraint and GT4 awaiting spare part.

Also at Sapele, the GT1 was out due to gas constraint; GT2 and GT4 were shut due to low load demand by the Discos; GT3 was out due to maintenance.

Same for Geregu II, its GT21 was out due to low load demand by the Discos, and GT22 and GT23 were shut because of gas constraint.

At Afam IV & V, two units (GT11 and GT12), were said to have been scrapped; GT13, 14 and 16 out on blade failure; GT17 and 18 out due to low load demand by Discos; and GT19 and 20 awaiting overhaul.

However, NERC, had also in its latest report on power supply status on all 132/33/11KV interface substation, warned Discos against load rejection.

“Discos should be cautioned on deliberate refusal to clear faults on some 33kV feeders within the timeline of eight hours as stipulated in the Reporting Compliance Regulations.

“Discos should also be cautioned against deliberate isolation of some sections of 33kV feeders to limit the loading of the feeders and denying customers electricity services,” NERC said.