BusinessDay

Reps probe incessant national grid collapse

The House of Representatives has mandated its committee on power to conduct an investigation into the causes of incessant national grid collapse in the country and the capacity of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to address the trend.

The House said this was to forestall future occurrences and protect the country’s already fragile socio-economic environment.

This resolution was sequel to the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance moved by Sani Bala from Kano State at plenary on Tuesday.

Moving the motion, Bala stated that national grid collapses occur when there are system disturbances along the transmission lines connecting a number of generating stations.

He expressed the concern that since the privatisation of the power sector in 2013, the country has experienced about a 100 national grid collapses: a challenge which experts and operators say will linger for a long time if not addressed.

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The lawmaker said the House was “further concerned that only this year, the national grid has so far collapsed seven times (more than the three times recorded last year), thereby causing national power outages with enormous socio-economic implications.

“Equally concerned that the latest in the series of power failures has been adjudged among the worst the country has witnessed in recent times, which in turn indicates that there is no framework or spinning reserve meant to forestall such occurrences.

“We worried that all the key power plants in the country, including Egbin, Utorogu, Chevron Oredo, Oben gas-fired power plants, Ughelli, and Chevron Escravos power plants could all shut down at once.

“We also worried that the issue of system collapse may not be unconnected with the Transmission Company of Nigeria’s lack of wheeling capacity, inadequate transmission lines and spinning reserves as well as refusal to fast-track construction of digital control centres instead of the company’ current analogue system.”

The lawmaker said available statistics from research show that if the power generated was adequately wheeled and transmitted for distribution to consumers, there would be a 30 percent reduction in the cost of generating power, thus leading to a corresponding reduction in the prices of utilities in the electricity supply industry.

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