A Review of the Nigerian Energy Industry

Abuja’s power supply dips to 120MW from multiple system failure

03 July 2015, Abuja – Field reports gathered on Thursday in Abuja disclosed that multiple system collapses of transmission facilities of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has cut available electricity supply to the federal capital city to about 120 megawatts (MW).Power4The development which has lasted for more than 24 hours as at the time of filing this report, showed that even the city’s environs are not left out of the extended blackouts that have come with the dip.

An official of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) which provides public electricity services to Abuja, Kogi, parts of Niger and Nasarawa States, who was contacted, provided THISDAY with consecutive updates on the system collapses from Wednesday afternoon when it was first reported by 2p.m.

Reports from these updates explained that the first system collapse happened around 14.00hours, and thus cut supply to AEDC to about 30MW.

AEDC is statutorily allocated 11.5 per cent of the total daily generated power in the system, at the moment, it has about 247MW allocated to it from about 3681MW that is generated now, it however cannot take more than 120MW due to the collapse.

“We have had a system black out since 14.00hours and restoration has yet to begin. We are still not furnished with information from the TCN on the cause. We will brief you as information is received,” one of the text responses from the informed senior official of AEDC read.

The official also stated later at dusk after it was reportedly observed that restoration work might have started on the system that: “This is to advise that the process of restoration has begun. 30MW has been allocated since 1605hours.”

The situation however did not improve at about 22.00hours (10p.m) on Wednesday when inquiries revealed that the collapse might have affected certain sensitive power installations in the city, thus leaving it with lengthen blackout.

But in a swift clarification of the situation, the Head of Media, AEDC, Mallam Ahmed Shekarau, in a text message said that the TCN was yet to update the electricity distribution company on the multiple incidences that had deprived electricity consumers of power supply for that long.

“We wish to advice of another system collapse since 22:00hours. No information is available about the cause and restoration is yet to commence,” Shekarau explained in a response he sent via text.

The development had also continued into the early morning of Thursday when AEDC again alerted of a continuous collapse that cut supply to its franchise distribution zones.

Shekarau in this regard stated: “TCN told us that they are working on it but the National Control Centre advised that we cannot take more than 120MW because of the collapse.”

“So, until they are able to fix it, we will continue to ramp up gradually for now,” he added.

Abuja Disco charges its residential electricity customers (R2) between N14 and N15 per kilowatt hour (kwh) in the regulator’s approved tariff for it. The lengthy hour of supply cut would have in addition to affecting its customers, also impacted on its revenue especially from metered customers.

Efforts however to ascertain the cause of the collapses from TCN officials yielded no result as its Director of Networks, Musa Gumel did not pick his calls or respond to text message sent to his phone.

But in a related development, the Nigerian Electricity Consumers Advocacy Network (NECAN) which was initiated by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has alleged that the commission has withdrawn its support to the network.

NECAN was initiated by NERC to stimulate the interests of consumers in developments within the power sector. The idea according to NERC for NECAN was to help consumers gain some good ground in arguments for accountable service delivery in the sector,

Chairman of NECAN’s Steering Committee, Chief Tomi Akingbogun, in a press briefing said NERC had refused to live by its pledge to support the steering committee in its work.

He explained that NECAN was given the mandate to set up office, recruit staff and set up reliable advocacy network and contacts with all the six geographical zones of the country according to the Terms of Reference (ToR) submitted to NERC for the development of a framework for engaging consumer advocacy groups in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) but that NERC seems uninterested in the network anymore.

“By May 25, we updated NERC with our activities so far and requested for part of the starting funds especially to secure the office space and equip it and employ staff.

“NERC has not replied the letter, but on follow up, we were shocked by the verbal response from the chairman, Dr. Amadi that NERC has decided not to support NECAN financially,” Akingbogun alleged.

– This Day
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