22 August 2013, Lagos – Efforts by the federal government to improve electricity supply suffered a major setback following a total system collapse that disrupted supply across the country since Wednesday.
This is coming as the Egbin Power Plc targets to generate 1,320megwatts of electricity after the ongoing repair of the Unit 6 is completed within 90 days from July 1, when the repair work started.
It was gathered from a source at the National Control Centre, NCC, at Osogbo in Osun State that the system collapse, which occurred a few minutes past 5p.m., led to darkness in most parts of the country as supply from the power stations stopped abruptly.
The cause of the collapse was not immediately known but the power sector has suffered over 20 total and partial collapse in recent months, due to frequent tripping of critical lines, with most of the “tripping traceable to fouling of the line conductors by vegetation.”
The spokesman of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, Mr. Dave Fabiyi, however, said the incident was a system disturbance and not system collapse.
“I will not call it a system failure but we have system disturbance and I am yet to get the details,” he said.
But a source within the NCC said the system disturbance led to total system collapse, which disrupted power supply nationwide.
“When there is system disturbance, it leads to system collapse and that was what actually happened. Most places are in darkness and it will take several hours to black-start the system. The machine in Delta Power Station, which used to black-start the system, is no longer working. So, it will take up to 12 hours or more for the system to be synchronised,” he said.
It was however, gathered that a machine that is capable of black-starting the entire system nationwide had been installed at Egbin Power Station.
In a related development, the Chief Executive Officer of Egbin Power Plc, Mr. Mike Uzoigwe, has stated that with the ongoing repair work in Unit 6 of the power station, the power plant would attain a generating capacity of 1,320mw before the end of this year.
Speaking yesterday to journalists on the progress of work on the unit, Uzoigwe said the repair work, which started on July 1, 2013 would last for 90 days “after which the unit would be handed over completely for operation.”
“This will put to rest the rumours that money meant for ST-06 repairs was diverted sometime in the past,” he added.
He stated the plant has the capacity to generate 1,080mw with the five units that are currently in operation.
– Ejiofor Alike, This Day