The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) says power delivered to the electricity distribution companies (DisCos) across the country dropped to 3,682 megawatts (Mw) over the weekend due to vandalization of Tower no 62, along the Okpai-Onitsha 330kV double circuit transmission line.
The incident which took place at Asaba Uchi, Ndokwa East Local Government, affected evacuation of power from the Okpai Power Station in Delta State was responsible for the shedding of about 480 megawatts from the 4,054.97Mw of available power in the country, TCN explained.
“At about 4:51 am on Tuesday, 10th November, 2015, the Okpai – Onitsha 330kV transmission line tripped and the cause of the tripping was traced to tower No 62, which had been vandalised. Two of the four legs of the transmission tower were cut by vandals, causing the tower to hang precariously. This poses a major threat to transmission grid integrity as a total collapse of this tower could bring down several other towers along the transmission line route,” TCN said.
It added that TCN management and its quick response engineering crew inspected the site of the incident, located in the swampy forest of Asaba Uchi, same day, and have already mobilised a reputable engineering contracting firm to anchor the transmission tower temporarily, to avoid total collapse. “Anchoring the vandalised tower will enable TCN energise one of the circuits on the tower, to enable it recommence partial power evacuation from the Okapi Power Station to the national grid. This is expected to be achieved within a fortnight”, the statement added.
It further noted that TCN will construct a new tower to replace the vandalised tower but due to the swampy nature of the site, construction could only commence in the dry season when vehicular access is possible.
Nigeria shed 372Mw from the 4,054.07Mw of November 11, according to Power Statistic posted on the website of the Federal Ministry of Power. During the period under review, the electricity generation companies (GenCos) generated 3,754.96Mw but the TCN recorded 72.64Mw spinning reserve.
The statistics also showed that power generation in the period under review dropped by 383.4Mw from the 4,138.36Mw generated on November 11.
The electricity market, however, recorded a peak energy generation of 4,810.7 Mw while the peak energy generation was 4,498.3Mw on November 11.
By Olisemeka Obeche