The total blackout that befell Abuja and neighbouring states that for several hours on Thursday continued into Friday amidst confusion among residents of the Federal Capital Territory as to what triggered.
Worse, many in the city who were just coming out of load shedding by the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) groaned over loses.
The PUNCH in a report attributed the blackout to the collapse of the country’s power grid, which led to a near zero allocation to the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC).
AEDC is the power firm that supplies electricity to the Federal Capital Territory, Nasarawa, Niger and parts of Kogi states.
The firm’s General Manager, Corporate Communication, Oyebode Fadipe, told PUNCH that the challenge on the grid started since Wednesday.
He explained that AEDC got as little as 20 megawatts of electricity for the most part of Thursday.
It was also observed that most parts of the FCT and neighbouring states of Niger, Kogi and Nasarawa were all in darkness in the morning, afternoon and evening of Thursday.
Power was restored later in the night in some of the affected areas, as Fadipe confirmed that the blackout was due to the instability of the country’s grid.
He said, “The grid has witnessed some form of instability and this led to a severe reduction in our allocation, dropping from about 400MW to 20MW.
“This, of course, is the reason for the blackout in most of our franchise areas today (Thursday). The TCN (Transmission Company of Nigeria) also alerted us about it.”
Fadipe added, “The situation, however, recorded some improvement later in the night, as more allocation was given to us from the grid.”
Recall that Nigeria Everyday reported last week that after keeping some Abuja communities without electricity for 72 hours, the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), came out with a comprehensive explanation that its supply feeders from Kukwaba transmission station supplying power to the communities will experience load shedding, pending replacement of the faulty breaker in the station.
There have been loud grumblings among residents around the identified areas as to why the load-shedding has become a recurrent one along the areas bordering the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Way leading to the airport, especially when there is a heavy downpour.
In a statement on Saturday, AEDC’s General Manager, Corporate Communications, Mr Fadipe Oyebode, listed the feeders on load shedding to include L31 feeder that supplies Games village, national stadium, Jewel apartments, Indoor complex, Human Rights Radio and its environs.
Feeder L32, that supplies customers in Trademore Estate Lugbe, Lugbe Across, Lugbe Zones one to nine, Ako and Aso estates would also experience loadsheding.
The L33 feeder, feeding consumers in Durumi district, American International School, Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO), Christ Embassy and its environs was also affected.
Feeder L35 supplying railway station and L36 feeding Idu Industrial Layout, Kuchingoro, karmajiji villages, Coca cola and other neighborhoods would also be loadsheded.
Other consumers to be affected, according to Oyebode are in consumers in and around Pyakasa, Sun City, Moccido Housing Estate, Brains and Hammer, African University of Science and Technology.
He was optimistic that the challenge that resulted in the loadsheding would be resolved.
Recall that almost a week ago, there was a fire outbreak at a transmission station in the Apo area of the city. It is not clear if there is a nexus between the incident and present situation.
The burnt transformer was part of those that feed the 33kV feeders of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company.
“It is, however, still early for TCN to determine if the burnt transformer can be salvaged,” the General Manager, Public Affairs, TCN, Ndidi Mbah, said then.
It was learnt that the fire started at about 1.30pm from a transformer in the substation and persisted for some hours.
The Transmission Company of Nigeria confirmed the incident and stated that one of the 45MVA 132/33kV power transformers in the substation was involved.
It said the burnt transformer was part of those that feed the 33kV feeders of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company.
TCN’s General Manager, Public Affairs, TCN, Ndidi Mbah, said the fire resulted from a direct fault from one of Abuja Disco’s 33kV feeders which had a history of incessant trippings, as the 33kV lacked protection.
The transmission company said it was equally investigating the possibility of transformer protection failure on its 45MVA power transform