Power Minister Barth Nnaji
Oct 10, 2011 – A Nationwide blackout looms as the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) yesterday threatened to shut down five power stations.
The threat followed the cut in gas supply to the stations by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).
The PHCN said the closure would lead to the loss of 1,400 megawatts (MW) from the national grid. The nation presently generates 4242 (mw), which it attained three weeks ago.
In a statement, PHCN management said it received notice from the Nigeria Gas Company Limited (NGC) that SPDC will start maintenance works on some of its gas plants from tomorrow. The affected plants are to be shut for seven days.
The closure will leave the country with power generation of just 2842mw.
Stations to be shut down for maintenance are: Utorogu and Ughelli East Gas Plants, Oben, Sapele and Oghanefe Gas Plants of Saplet and Pan Ocean.
The statement reads: “Power Holding Company of Nigeria regrets to inform its esteemed customers nationwide of the notice received from Nigeria Gas Company Limited (NGC) of the planned shutdown of SPDC Utorogu and Ughelli East Gas Plants, Oben, Sapele and Ogharefe gas plants of SEPLAT and Pan Ocean for maintenance purposes.
“This will be for a period of seven days commencing Tuesday, October 11. The maintenance, according to NGC will lead to complete shutdown of Geregu, Sapele, Ughelli, Omotosho and Olorunsogo power stations throughout the duration of the exercise, thus resulting to a cut back in generation of over 1400MW. This loss of generation will entail minimal load shedding in many parts of the country.
“We therefore appeal to our valued customers and other stakeholders for understanding and support, while assuring that power supply situation will considerably improve once gas supply is restored to these stations.” (The Nation)