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Power Generation Falls By 480MW, Grid Under Threat

The country’s electricity transmission grid is under threat as a result of the vandalism of a tower in Delta State, which has led to a fall in power generation by 480 megawatts, the Transmission Company of Nigeria has said.

According to the TCN, the fall in electricity generation is due to the vandalism of tower No. 62 along the Okpai-Onitsha 330kV double circuit transmission line, which evacuates power from the Okpai Power Station in Delta State.

Power generation in the country had hit an all-time high of 4,810.7MW on August 25 this year after hovering around 3,500MW for about a year. This is despite the fact that the electricity generation and distribution arms of the sector had been run by private entities all this while.

Findings by our correspondent from the Federal Ministry of Power on Monday showed that the actual energy sent out as of November 15 was 3,682.32MW, while energy generation was put at 3,754.96MW.

The transmission company, in a statement by its management, said the incident involving the vandalised tower took place at Asaba Uchi, Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State, adding that this “has resulted in the reduction of available power to the national grid by about 480MW.”

It added, “At about 4:51am on Tuesday, November 10, 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 the transmission grid integrity as a total collapse of this tower could bring down several other towers along the transmission line route.”

The firm stated that its engineering crew inspected the site of the incident the same day and had already mobilised a reputable engineering contracting firm to anchor the transmission tower temporarily in order to avoid a total collapse.

“Anchoring the vandalised tower will enable the TCN to 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 TCN stated.

The statement further noted that the company would construct a new tower to replace the vandalised one, but that due to the swampy nature of the site, construction could only commence in the dry season when vehicular access would be possible.

The TCN said it would continue to work towards a robust transmission grid and pleaded with the host communities to work with the company in its fight against the activities of vandals.

The firm said the construction of a new tower would cost millions of naira that would otherwise have been applied to its grid expansion plans.

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