By Benjamin Omoike
The fire outbreak which occurred at the Egbin power plant last Wednesday is already having serious consequences and taking its toll on residents of Lagos and its environs.
As it is, electricity consumers may have to endure power blackout for a while, as the facility is now functioning at reduced electricity capacity.
It is estimated that the fire outbreak has reduced electricity capacity on the national grid by 630 megawatts, creating electricity rationing in Lagos and some Southwest states.
The Management of Egbin Power PIc. had reported that fire incident occurred at the Power Plant on Wednesday, February 2, 2022, at around 4:20pm, adding that the incident was successfully controlled by a team of Egbin firefighters, working in collaboration with firefighters from the Nigeria Gas Company in Egbin.
Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company had issued a statement telling customers that the outage experienced in certain parts of Lagos was due to the development.
While the utility company noted that areas such as Iju, Abule Odu, Egbeda, Oregun, Anifowoshe, Ago, Okota, Oke Afa, Ajao, Amuwo, Ikosi, Mende, Ogudu, Bariga, Oworo, Gbagada and Ilupeju were affected, it noted that the company was making efforts with its partners in the electricity value chain to improve the situation.
Management of Egbin Power Plant, in a statement at the weekend, however, said it had restored 220MW out of the 630MW reportedly lost to the incident.
It said the plant has “resumed operation while Unit (STO5), has been put back in service and synchronised to the national grid at 19:57 hours on 4th February and its back on stream generating 220MW.”
It stated that the technical team at the plant is working to ensure that additional 660MW is added to the grid before the weekend runs out.
It added that: “Egbin continues to work with the regulatory authorities and other stakeholders to achieve full restoration in line with the global health, safety and environmental standards.”
Meanwhile, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), said it had commenced load shedding in the Lagos axis, as result of the incident.
The General Manager, Public Affairs, TCN, Ndidi Mbah, said it did this by reducing bulk electricity to Lagos, to avoid overloading the 330kv lines within the state, while the third unit at the Shiroro Station was tied.
These were necessary to avoid the collapse of the nation’s grid.
He assured that Egbin Power station was working assiduously to ensure a full restoration of its generating units to the grid and until this happens, TCN will continue to do all it can to keep the grid stable.
“TCN will continue the evacuation of generated power from Egbin Power Station as soon as the station resumes power generation,” he stated.