Nigeria in total blackout after president praises new capacity

Africa’s most populous country experienced a total power outage this week after a pipeline fire caused its entire grid to trip.

The blackout happened the day after Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari celebrated record levels of generating capacity in his New Year speech.

Most power in Nigeria, a country of approximately 181 million people, is generated by gas-fired thermal stations.

The fire on 2 January in the pipeline system near Okada in Edo State necessitated a shutdown of gas supply to six such stations, and the resulting loss of generation caused the national transmission system to trip at around 8.20pm, the country’s power ministry said, reports online newspaper, The Cable.

By the following morning power had been restored in many parts of the country, other reports said.

In his New Year speech, President Buhari celebrated record levels of power generation.

"On December 8, 2017 the country achieved 5,155MW of power delivered to consumers, the highest level ever recorded," he said, reports The Cable.

The president listed several moribund power projects that have been revived, the expansion of plants through private investments, and a new wind-power scheme due to be operational this year.

He also praised the landmark, 3GW Mambilla Hydroelectric project, planned for decades, now being financed and built by a Chinese joint venture, with completion targeted for 2023.

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