Yemie Adeoye 11 March 2014, Sweetcrude, Lagos – The Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, says it has lost its 330kV transmission line from Sapele to Ughelli in Delta State.
Twelve towers along the line route reportedly collapsed following a fire incident caused by a petrol tanker explosion at about 9:42am on Sunday, 9th March, 2014.
The fire, which affected towers 88 and 89, caused the melting and snapping of all of the line conductors between the two towers causing a loss of balance and swinging of towers, which resulted in the eventual collapse of several other towers. Tower 81 did not collapse but was bent by the incident.
In a statement signed by its General Manager (Public Affairs), Mrs. Seun Olagunju, TCN said that 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 towers No 82 to 93.
With 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.
The transmission limitation notwithstanding, the company assured that the second 330kV transmission line from Ughelli to Benin and the 132kV transmission lines 1 and 2 from Benin to Ughelli, would adequately evacuate power generated from the power stations to Benin.
The company has also put in place plans to ensure that the transmission lines are free of encumbrances to ensure continued efficient wheeling of power generated.
The statement further noted that TCN’s quick response engineering team and its 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. It also noted that it has put in place security operatives, to guard the collapsed tower from vandals.
The company, however, pleaded with vehicle drivers especially ones that hull highly inflammable items such as petrol to drive with care and also to ensure that their vehicles are in good order always, to avoid such massive losses to the company and the nation, pointing out that with this singular incidence, the company has incurred losses to the tune of N1 billion for the reconstruction of 12 towers and rehabilitation of tower No 81.
The company pledged to reconstruct the 330kV transmission line as quickly as possible to check further losses to the nation.