Why national grid collapses – GenCos


Electricity Generation Companies (GenCos), Thursday, attributed the incessant collapse of national power grip due to excessive volatile load by steel mills, weak and old infrastructure by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and the unavailability of most transmission lines.

The executive secretary of association of power generation companies, Barr. Joy Ogaji, Thursday marshaled out the reasons at an investigative hearing of the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee set to check the recurring national grid collapse in the country.

She said: “The grid collapse is reducing because Gencos machines are now being used to manage the grid contrary to the grid code provision and you will see that 97% of the time, the grid is on a very high frequency; 51 point something hertz and I have the evidence for anybody that wants to see, I have been tracking it since 2015.

“Why a grid collapse, one of the reasons we have found is, is there is excessive volatile load mostly through steel mills. The Nigerian network has over 50 steel mills connected to the grid with heavy load from 3 to 35 megawatts going from minimum to maximum; minimum in a continuous circuit of 6 -10 minutes.

“Service interruption due to inability of Discos to take note, weak grid conditions forcing apparatus disruption, TCN radial lines, most of TCN lines are radial not double circuit, thereby limiting the redundancy in the system which increases system instability.

“Inadequate and old infrastructure to meet demands, transmission and distribution manned by insufficient engineers and technicians, poor communication and coordination of activities between TCN and Discos.”

But in his presentation earlier, the Minister of State for Power, Godwin Jeddy- Agba refuted the claims of grip collapse, saying that none has occurred this year.

He would rather call it system disruptions which he said had human elements or politically motivated.

He said: “So, please let us understand that we   have not had any collapse this year, we have had disruptions and disruptions could lead to blackouts, a black out is not a collapse. These ones we have had this year, in fact four of them but they have not been collapse, it is disruption. And disruptions have been as a result of the human factors, they could be increment factors, they could be political factors, it could be other factors.

“For instance, sometimes last month we had a black out for a short while, it was due to, and we saw on social media some young men switching off the system, that is not a collapse. That is deliberate vandalisation, in fact, it is a sabotage if you ask of my opinion. How can young men go and switch system, putting the nation in back out just because of some grudges which by the grace of God is a union matter and I am handling that and I assure you Mr Speaker that that matter is being brought to book and at the end of this week, our report will be submitted and union and us will agree on something and it will never happen again by His grace.

“So having made it clear to us that we have not had system collapse, let us take it from the point of disruptions that I have told you, one is from the union, second is from the communities could also like what happened in Akwa-Ibom, the communities disrupted something last year, somewhat early this year we have black out towards South-south part of the country.

“Thirdly, we have had problems with gas. The gas supply is too high to our power generating stations. Gas supply has been a problem but we are tackling that already because we are discussing with NNPC and Nigerian Gas Corporation, we are coming to an agreement and gas is flowing systematically now to the generating companies and we are seeing a steady increment in generation. Don’t you agree with me that power has improved of late? We are enjoying power improvement and we are assure you that it is continuous. And you see when there is a disruption in the power system, the mechanisms made that the system automatically shut down. The system is made to shut down to cause us less damage so it will go down if that happens.”

Also speaking at the hearing, the managing director of Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN Sule Abdulaziz said there had been four system collapses and two partial collapses just as he stated that the transmission  capacity of the company was about 8,100 megawatts.

“We have four system collapse, then we have two partial collapse and this what we submitted. On transmission capacity, we have the capacity of 8,100 megawatts. There is no day when generation company will say we have generated so much megawatts and TCN is unable to evacuate it. We are challenging generation companies to come out if there’s any day that we can not evacuate it”, he said.

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