17 October 2011, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) at the weekend apologised to Nigerians over the current load shedding of electricity that has led to blackout in many parts of the country.
“We are sincerely sorry for the ongoing load-shedding being experienced as a result of the scheduled maintenance of some gas plants in the country,” the company said.
The plants undergoing maintenance are Utorogu and Ughelli East Gas Plants, Oben and Ogharefe Gas Plants of Saplet and Pan Ocean.
Appealing for patience, understanding and support on the repair of the plants, PHCN assured Nigerians that power supply in the country would considerably improve once gas supply is restored to the power stations undergoing routine maintenance work.
“The management of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) wishes to sincerely apologise to its valued customers and other stakeholders that the current load-shedding being experienced is as a result of the planned shutdown of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Utorogu and Ughelli East Gas Plants, Oben and Ogharefe Gas Plants of Saplet and Pan Ocean for maintenance purpose.
“The planned maintenance has led to loss of gas supply to some of our power stations resulting in minimal load-shedding in some parts of the country,” the statement read.
“We therefore appeal to our valued customers and other stakeholders for understanding and support, while assuring that power supply situation will considerably improve once gas supply is restored to these power stations,” the statement added
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) said last week that the massive load shedding embarked upon by its licensees was a violation of the Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act 2005 and that it will henceforth mete out appropriate sanctions on erring organisations.
NERC consequently issued a warning to PHCN and five other power plants, namely Geregu, Sapele, Ughelli, Olorunsogo, and Omotosho over the load shedding of about 1400 megawatts (mw) which started last Tuesday and will last for seven days, saying the action is without its approval.
While stating that it was not opposed to the maintenance work on the gas facilities or PHCN generating and transmitting stations, NERC in a letter to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PHCN, Executive Director, System Operator (SO) of Transmission Company of Nigerian (TCN) and that of the five power stations, warned of the grave consequences of their actions.