West Africa: Nigeria lost National Power Grid (story dated 03/11/2000)

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Power failure blacks out most of Nigeria

WIRE:03/11/2000 16:58:00 ET

LAGOS, March 11 (Reuters) - Most of Nigeria, including the capital Abuja, was without electricity on Saturday because of technical problems with the creaking electricity network, power officials and residents of cities across the country said.

"A systems failure on the national grid" cut off electricity supplies to most of the country on Friday, a senior official of Nigeria's largest power plant at Egbin, near Lagos, told Reuters. Power was being restored by Saturday night, he added.

"We lost the entire system yesterday and the power cut was near nationwide," said the official, who asked not to be named. the cause of the problem was not immediately known, he said.

The Egbin plant, with installed capacity of 660 MW, was operating at about 75 percent on Saturday and the country's hydro-electric plants appeared to be working normally and were carrying most of the load, he added.

Power cuts are a chronic problem in Nigeria, holding back economic growth and discouraging investment in industry because companies face the additional cost of providing their own electricity.

In theory the country has fairly adequate installed capacity but the power plants were neglected during decades of mismanagement by military rulers.

Elected President Olusegun Obasanjo, at the urging of the International Monetary Fund, promised to privatise the power authority NEPA, but this is low on the list of projects in a three-year programme.

Copyright )2000 ABC News Internet Ventures

-- Possible Impact (posim@hotmail.com), March 14, 2000


Update from Monday:NIGERIA--Update on City Black Out

-- Possible Impact (posim@hotmail.com), March 14, 2000.

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