Blackout: Hydropower To The Rescue As 14 Gas Plants Remain Shut

Power station


But for the hydropower plants in the country, the severe outages in electricity supply could have been worse following the forced shut down of 14 gas powered stations. Electricity generation from the nation’s hydropower plants has recorded significant improvement, offsetting the losses caused by last week’s pipeline fire that crippled six gas-fired power plants, including Egbin in Lagos, shut down.

The number of power plants idle on Friday was 14 out of 28, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.

Last Tuesday, the nation’s power grid suffered a total collapse caused by the fire incident on the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System, which supplies gas to some power plants and feeds the West Africa Gas Pipeline System.

The nation generates most of its electricity from gas-fired power plants, while output from hydropower plants makes up about 30 per cent of the total generation.

Total electricity generation, which stood at 3,573.1 megawatts as at 6am on Monday, January 1, fell slightly to 3,539.1mw on Tuesday and 3,517.5mw on Wednesday, the day after the collapse of the grid.

Unutilised generation capacity occasioned by gas constraint rose to 3,133.3mw on Friday from 1,934.4mw on Tuesday.

Generation from Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro hydro plants which stood at 270mw, 230mw and 130mw, respectively on Tuesday (before the grid collapse), rose to 339mw, 445mw and 428mw on Wednesday.

By Friday, January 5, Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro generated 411mw, 440mw and 442mw respectively, translating to about 36.7 per cent of the total national generation of 3,517.5mw.

Electricity generation from Egbin, the nation’s biggest power station, fell from 561mw as of 6am on Tuesday to 122mw on Wednesday. The plant did not generate any electricity on Thursday and Friday due to the fire outbreak on the gas pipeline.

Five other power plants, Omotosho I and II located in Ondo State, Olorunsogo I and II, and Paras Energy in Ogun State, were also shut down due to the fire outbreak.