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Nigerian power grid shut down by gas pipeline fire

ABUJA (Reuters) — Nigeria's electricity grid has been shut down by a fire on a gas pipeline, the ministry of power said on Wednesday, underscoring the instability of the country's creaking power infrastructure.

Nigeria's dilapidated power grid is often blamed for hobbling growth in Africa's largest economy, despite efforts to improve it through privatization.

Many businesses and households have their own power generators, often costly and run on fuel, as a backup for the country's frequent blackouts.

Gas supply to several power stations was cut off because of the fire on the Escravos Lagos Pipeline System near Okada in the southern state of Edo, the ministry said.

"The sudden loss of generation due to interruption in gas supply from these stations caused the national transmission grid to trip off around 20:20 on 2nd January," it said in a statement.

Most of Nigeria's power generation is from thermal power stations that use gas, according to the ministry.

Nigeria's state oil firm, which owns and operates the gas pipelines, is working to restore gas supply on the affected pipelines, the statement said.

"Once the national grid is restored, output from the hydroelectric power stations and all other unaffected gas-fired thermal power stations will be increased to the extent possible to minimize the impact of loss of generation from the affected power stations," the statement said.

Reporting by Tife Owolabi; writing by Paul Carsten; editing by Jason Neely and Adrian Croft


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FEATURED COLUMNS

Editorial comment
-Adrienne Blume
According to GIIGNL’s 2018 Annual Report, global LNG trade expanded by 3.5 Bft3d in 2018, to 38.2 Bft3d—a record 10% increase.
Power, LNG projects drive pipeline construction in Africa
-Shem Oirere
Increasing public investment in gas-fired power plants in Africa, the continuing recovery in global oil prices and persistent insecurity in key producer markets, such as Nigeria, are likely to impact gas transmission pipeline projects on the continent, even as more international companies express interest in the region’s stranded gas resources.


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