Electricity pylons at the Egbin Power Plant in Lagos, Nigeria. Photographer: George Osodi/Bloomberg

Electricity pylons at the Egbin Power Plant in Lagos, Nigeria. Photographer: George Osodi/Bloomberg

Power Shortage May Persist in Nigeria After Pipeline Fire, Egbin Power Plant Shut Down


Fire at the Escravos-Lagos pipeline owned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in the southern Edo state on Tuesday night has required a shutdown of the pipeline supplying gas to the 1,320-megawatt Egbin power plant, the nation’s biggest, and five others, according to an emailed statement by the Power, Works and Housing Ministry.

The fire at the Nigerian pipeline interrupted gas supplies to companies generating more than 3,000 megawatts in Africa’s most populous nation, the government said.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation produced a record 7,000MW in December. That was the highest on record Nigeria has ever produced.

The interruption tripped the national transmission grid on Tuesday, it said.

The Bloomberg recalls that most of Nigeria’s energy supply is from thermal generation. The gas produced by oil and gas companies is delivered to the power stations through pipelines owned and operated by Nigerian Gas Processing and Transportation Company, a unit of state-owned NNPC.

“Electricity production in Africa’s biggest oil producer is hampered by inadequate gas supply and energy infrastructure. The nation, which has about 180 million people, generated a record 7,000 megawatts in December, 5,155 megawatts of which was distributed, the ministry said. South Africa, with a third of the population, has capacity to make more than 40,000 megawatts”, said Bloomberg.

The state-run Transmission Company of Nigeria, which owns and operates the national grid, and the generating companies are working to restore operations, according to the statement.

There were reports of unusual persistent power outage in various parts of the country, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) from Tuesday night. If this crisis persist, it means that parts of the Africa’s most populous country will go without light for some time. 

Editorial Chief, Nigerian Bureau

Kings UBA is a Nigerian journalist and writer. I have reported for major local and international news organisations. I write satire. In 2017, I started contributing stories primarily to Discover Africa News Network. I can be reached on editorkingsuba@gmail.com. I currently manage Discover Africa News social media handles