17 April 2016
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, in a video briefing released on the 16th of April by the Digital Strategy and Engagement Unit from the office of the President, has explained why there has been recent shortage in power supply and why the situation might get worse before it gets better.
Fashola reveals that the energy crisis is due to the failure of the Forcados oil producing and loading platform which is managed by Shell to reach the usual crude oil export and gas supply and resulting in reduced energy supply for the national grid.
According to him, “because our gas supply has reduced, we’re firing below our peak which we achieved of 5,000 megawatts and now we’re varying between 3,500 and 3,600 which gives a lot of vulnerability to the grid. Once there’s not enough supply of power to the grid it becomes vulnerable and all of the protections that are put in place to ensure that it doesn’t collapse will begin to trip”.
The minister noted that repairs have begun at the plant which would take an estimated duration of eight weeks to complete; putting the average time Nigerians should expect the initial output of 4,800 to 5,000 megawatts of electricity at around late May. However, he also noted that other supplementary means of boosting power supply were still being worked on.
In addition, more locations being added to the grid has also resulted in more power shortages as there is more pressure on the national grid than before or than can be sustained by the amount of power being supplied. He however assured Nigerians that “it is a process and I am confident that we will turn the curve and things will be better.”
The Nigerian Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on the 15th of April, visited the Shell Forcados platform to assess the on-going repair work at the disrupted pipeline.
Author: Aderonke Adeleke
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