TCN-National grid fully restored after collapse.

By Jacob Uket

The Transmission Company of Nigeria announced on Sunday, that the national power grid has been restored following its collapse on saturday.

The Public Affairs General Manager of TCN, Ndidi Mbah, had described the collapse as partial. He said, “there was a partial disturbance of the grid at about 15.09Hrs yesterday, 6th July 2024.” According to her, the incident “brings to three, the partial grid disturbances, with one total disturbance this year.”

A spokesperson from TCN said the grid collapse is suspected to be as a result of an unexpected tripping of three units of a power-generating station, which she disclosed suddenly removed 313MW from the grid, causing system instability that led to the loss of bulk supply to a section of the national grid.

The system operator reacted to the sudden decline in generation which led to a dip in frequency by islanding a section of the grid which includes the Ibom Power Station through which the company continued to feed Uyo, Aba, Itu, Eket, Calabar, etc. even when the other section of the grid had no supply.

“Also, the operators commenced grid restoration efforts immediately after the incident. At about 21.57 hrs yesterday, the entire part of the grid that was affected by today’s incident was successfully restored,” Said Mbah.

Meanwhile, electricity users have condemned the repeated collapse of the national power grid. 

It was confirmed that power generation from all power plants dropped to a paltry 70MW at 3pm after it peaked at 3916 MW around 10am on Saturday. 

It was also observed that the distribution companies got zero allocation as of Saturday evening. 

This grid collapse came barely three days after the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission approved a tariff increase for Band A customers, from N206.80 per kilowatt-hour to N209.50/kWh.

Princewill Okorie, the Executive Director, Electricity Consumer Protection Advocacy Centre,  regretted that despite the in electricity tariff, the grid keeps collapsing.

Okorie worried that customers without meters would still be made to pay for the period of the collapse, wondering what the government has been doing to stop the incidents.

“What are the causes of these grid collapses? Are the materials used in building the grip of good quality and standard? Who is managing the grid? The players in the sector are more interested in collecting money from the consumers rather than making the system stable. What you hear more about the power sector is payment. The money that the international communities are bringing to the industry and the money that is unlawfully collected from the consumers, where are they being utilized? The operational expenditures of the DisCos, and how do they spend them?”

“In the past few months, they keep increasing tariffs yet there is inefficiency in the power sector. They are interested in collecting money, but whether the money is judiciously utilized or not, nobody cares. They keep overbilling customers. The desperation to collect revenue from customers for services not delivered is a challenge. Now that the grid collapsed, the unmetered customers will still be made to pay for darkness. That is injustice. The government should address this issue of grid collapse once and for all,” Okorie stated.

Also, Adetayo Adegbemle, the Convener and Executive Director of PowerUp Nigeria, an electricity consumer right and power sector policy advocacy organization, said everyone involved in the electricity value chain should be ashamed by their inability to stop grid collapses.

Adegbemle held that some people should be shown the way out to fix the situation.

“I think everyone involved in the value chain should be embarrassed by the regular occurrence and inability to put measures in place to avoid this constant grid collapse. It is unfortunate because everyone throws the blame on others

“And I believe if heads had been rolling for people not taking responsibility for it, someone would have stood up to fix this problem,” he said.

Suggesting a solution, Adegbemle added, “There’s a need to align the value chain, this was something the Siemens deal boasted to achieve. I expect that if the head of TCN, for instance, is to lose his job tonight, the next MD would be more willing to work with other subsectors to ensure this does not happen again.

“From whatever we need to forestall this grid collapses, it is definitely in the hands of the leadership of the TCN, especially.”

Commenting on the grid disturbance on Saturday, the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company said its TCN stations are out of supply, saying it is unable to provide services to customers in Abia, Anambra,  Ebonyi,  Enugu, and Imo States.

“The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company wishes to inform its esteemed customers of a general system collapse which occurred at 15:09 hours today, 6th July 2024. This has resulted in the loss of supply currently being experienced across the network.

“Due to this development, all our interface TCN stations are out of supply, and we are unable to provide services to our customers in Abia, Anambra,  Ebonyi,  Enugu, and Imo States.

“We are on standby awaiting detailed information of the collapse and restoration of supply from the National Control Centre, Osogbo,” a statement by the EEDC Head of Corporate Communications, Emeka Ezeh, read.

Also, the Kano DisCo said, “We regret to inform you that the power outage being experienced in our franchise states is due to system collapse of the national grid. The collapse occurred at about 3:10 pm, hence the loss of supply on all our outgoing feeders.

“Power supply shall be restored as soon as the National Grid is powered back. Our sincere apologies for any inconvenience.”