Lagos — Electricity customers in some parts of Nigeria are currently living without power supply, despite torrents of rain which should have boosted electricity generation across the country.
The latest system collapse reported on Sunday may have worsened the poor electricity supply situation in the country.
The Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN said the collapse, which affected a section of the Benin Substation, Sapele Road in Benin City, Edo State was caused by a fire that erupted due to high voltage.
The spokesperson of the TCN, Ndidi Mbah, who confirmed the incident in a statement, said the incident occurred at about 9.10 a.m, causing a fire in the 75MX reactor facility in the area.
According to Mrs. Mbah, the high voltage had triggered a fire, causing a massive drop of the load from the national grid and available supply to the electricity distribution companies.
“The massive load drop led to high voltage in the system, which shattered the lightning arrester in close proximity to the 75MX Reactor in Benin Substation,” she said.
“The shattered lightning arrester porcelain hit the reactor bushing causing a further explosion on the reactor resulting in fire outbreak,” Mrs. Mbah added.
She did not, however, disclose the volume of electricity lost.
However, she added that repair works have commenced at about 1.30 p.m, same day, to restore the capacity of the grid.
The government claims electricity generation capacity has climbed from 5,000 megawatts (MW) to above 7,000MW.
But, the TCN, the agency responsible for transmitting available electricity to distribution companies for the consumer s, says the figure hovers between 4,000 and and
Last week, the TCN, based on the order of the electricity systems operator, announced till further notice, banning of two distribution companies – the Benin and Ikeja DISCOs -from further participation in the electricity market for alleged infraction of the rules.
As part of the suspension, some electricity transmission facilities of the two DISCOs were discoñnected from the national grid by TCN, till they have remedied the alleged infractions.
Although the two DISCOs said their managements commenced the process to get the TCN to rescind the action against them and restore their facilities and services, it wàs not immediately clear what volume of electricity was affected.
Mrs. Mbah said the effort has so far restored the bulk power supply to most parts of the country within hours.
Meanwhile, the TCN said it commenced the movement of another reactor to Benin City to replace the burnt reactor and ensure voltage stability in the city as well as prevent a re-occurrence.
It said it would also ensure a review of the entire protection and earthing system nationwide to prevent similar incidents in other parts of the country.
Mrs. Mbah said this would be in addition to the overall upgrading of the system through the TREP programme being financed by multi-lateral donors.
She said the installation of 3Nos. reactors on the Ikot- Ekpene- Ugwuaji –Jos line has reached an advanced stage.
“Once these three reactors are installed and commissioned, the grid would be further stabilized,” Mrs. Mbah said.
“TCN Management wishes to assure Nigerians that it is doing everything possible to modernize, upgrade and stabilize the National Grid.”