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NNPC Orders Assessment Of Escravos-Lagos Pipeline Fire

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, has ordered an immediate assessment of the damage caused by a fire on the Escarvos to Lagos Pipeline (ELP), a natural gas pipeline which supplies gas from Escravos region of the Niger Delta area to Lagos.

This was contained in a statement signed by Ndu Ughamadu.It also states that the exercise will affect gas supply to customers in Ondo, Ogun and Lagos State with subsequent shutdown of the following power plants with a combined generating capacity of 1,143MW: Egbin, Lagos, Olorunshogo, PEL Olorunshogo, Ogun, Paras Power Plant, Ogun and Omotosho plant, Ondo State.

It would be recalled that a pipeline carrying natural gas from Escravos region of the Niger Delta area to Lagos was engulfed by fire on Tuesday evening.

The pipeline also supplies gas to power plants in the South West, in addition to feeding the West Africa Gas Pipeline System. The incineration of the ELP, which was built in 1989, was suspected to have been caused by a bush fire January 2, 2018 at Abakila, in Ondo State.

NNPC firemen were said to have been drafted to the scene and were able to contain the fire from the leak point of the pipeline incident. However, the fire could not be extinguished due to the high pressure of the line.

To put off the fire, the line would require being isolated and depressurized, which might lead to a complete shutdown of the pipeline segment for repair works to be carried out.

The incineration of the ELP, which was built in 1989, was suspected to have been caused by a bush fire January 2, 2018 at Abakila, in Ondo State.

Also, in a related development, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and the electricity generating companies (GenCos) said effort is on to restore the grid after it was shut down as a result of the fire incident appealing for patience from the Nigerian public.

According to a press statement by the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, the Nigerian Gas Processing and Transportation Company Ltd (NGPTC) reported the fire incident which necessitated shutdown of the pipeline supplying gas to Egbin 1,320MW; Olorunsogo NIPP 676MW, Olorunsogo 338MW, Omotosho NIPP 450MW, Omotosho 338 MW and Paras 60MW power stations.

The sudden loss of generation due to interruption in gas supply from these stations caused the national transmission grid to trip off.

Most of Nigeria’s power generation is from thermal power stations that require gas for fuel. The gas is produced by oil and gas companies overseen by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

The gas is delivered to the power stations through pipelines owned and operated by Nigerian Gas Processing and Transportation Company Ltd (NGPTC), a subsidiary of Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC).

“TCN and the generation companies are working to restore operation of the national grid. 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 minimise the impact of loss of generation from the affected power stations while NNPC takes necessary steps to restore gas supply.

“We urge members of the public to bear with us as we work to overcome this set back which should be temporary,” the statement noted.

Meanwhile,  the managing director of the TCN, Usman Mohammed, speaking yesterday in an interview with Channels Television news at 10 said the power sector recorded another trip in the system shortly after efforts to restore power after the outage following fire on the Escravos-Lagos gas pipeline.

He said in the attempt to restore electricity the system encountered another collapse which engineers are trying to rectify assuring that normalcy would be restored in few hours.

Mohammed further said that enormous funding has gone into strengthening transmission capacity in the sector where he said that about $4 billion have been earmarked to expand its wheeling capacity to about 20 mega watts in the next 4 to 5 years.



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