Again, Transmission Company of Nigeria Loses 12 Towers, 330kV Station To Fire

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Teddy Oscar, Abuja

Less than 72 hours, after the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) was reported to ration electricity to three southwest states, including Ekiti, Ondo and Osun, following its 150MVA, 330/132/33kV power transformer in the Osogbo sub-regional/work centre office, which was gutted by fire in the early hours of Friday, the company has lost one of its 330kV transmission lines from Sapele to Ughelli in Delta State and 12 towers along the line route to yet another fire incident caused by a petrol tanker, which caught fire between towers 88 and 89 on Sunday night.

As a result, TCN has incurred huge losses to the tune of N1 billion for the reconstruction of the 12 towers and rehabilitation of tower No 81, an emailed statement issued in Abuja on Monday by Mrs. Seun Olagunju, TCN general manager (public affairs), said.

“The fire caused the melting and snapping of all of the line conductors between the two towers causing a loss of balance along the transmission line, swinging of towers which resulted in their eventual collapse. Tower 81 did not collapse, but was bent by the incident. The loaded petrol tanker, which fell and caught fire at Ogborode Junction, near Warri in Delta State, destroyed the 330kV Sapele-Ughelli transmission line, and brought down TCN’s towers No 82 to 93 along its route,” the statement read in part.

Following the collapse of the 12 towers, TCN said that it has temporarily lost power evacuation from that line as all power generated by Delta and Sapele Power stations would now only be evacuated through the second 500MW capacity 330kV transmission line from Ughelli to Benin in Edo State.

Despite transmission limitation, the company, however, assured that the second 330kV transmission line from Ughelli to Benin and the 132kV transmission lines one and two from Benin to Ughelli, will adequately evacuate power generated from the power stations to Benin.

“We have also put in place plans to ensure that the transmission lines are free of encumbrances to ensure continued efficient wheeling of power generated. Our response engineering team and TCN’s transmission contractors are already at the accident site to fully assess the level of damage to the system with the view to putting in place quick remedial plans, pending the re-construction of the 12 transmission towers. We have also put in place security operatives, to guard the collapsed tower from vandals.

“We plead with vehicle drivers, especially (the) ones that (haul) highly inflammable items such as petrol to drive with care, and also to ensure that their vehicles are in good order always (so as) to avoid such massive losses to the company and the nation. With this singular incident, the company has incurred huge losses to the tune of N1 billion for the reconstruction of 12 towers and rehabilitation of tower No 81,” the statement added.

You would recall that parts of Akure, Ilesha, Ife, Ondo, Osogbo Complex, Ado-Ekiti and Iwo are now having rationed electricity supply in three Southwest states of Ekiti, Ondo and Osun, following its 150MVA, 330/132/33kV power transformer in the Osogbo sub-regional/work centre office, which was gutted by fire last Friday.

The fire incident started after an explosive sound was heard from the 150MVA power transformer that was commissioned in March 2010.

“(The fire) raged for most part of the morning, but was successfully extinguished by the fire service, preventing it from spreading to the other transformers. The second 150MVA, 330/132kV power transformer in the sub-regional office, however, tripped during the incident, but was not affected by the fire,” the statement read in part.


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