25 March 2014, Abuja – The Federal Government has threatened to sanction a Chinese Company, CBEA of China, the manufacturer of the 150MVA transformer that caught fire at Oshogbo Transmission Region, in Osun State, if investigations showed that the product was substandard.
The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, who disclosed this in Abuja, said last week that the move will serve as a deterrent to other manufacturers of fake and substandard products and equipment.
Recall that the minister visited the project site in Oshogbo over the weekend to assess the level of damage on the transmission network.
He said that although the actual cause of the fire was yet to be determined by experts as investigation was still ongoing, but has been reliably informed it may have been caused by installation failure, possibly from the substandard coils used in the transformer.
A visibly angry Nebo said that his sadness is informed by the fact that a new 150MVA, which will now be used to replace the damaged transformer was originally meant for network expansion to enhance power supply in the Osogbo region.
The Minister appealed to the communities that are affected by the fire incident for understanding, just as he assured them that full electricity supply would soon be restored to their area. Nebo used the occasion to commend the gallant efforts of the fire fighters, as they were able to stop the fire from consuming other transformers located in the premises.
Responding, the General Manager, Transmission, Oshogbo Region, Mr. Vincent Aligwara, who took the Minister and his entourage round the Transmission, said investigation was still ongoing and promised that very soon the new 150MVA transformer would be energised to replace the burnt one.
Aligwara informed the Minister that through the effort of his staff, about 50MW of power was lost instead of 150MW.
He thanked the Minister for visiting the station and urged him to assist the region in the provision of funds for its activities.
In a related development, Nebo visited Ughelli in Delta State, to inspect the transmission tower which collapsed as a result of a burning of a tanker on the highway, during which two Transmission Towers were totally burnt, while 10 others were also damaged.
From what he saw at Ughelli, the Minister was disturbed to the extent that he described the incident as “a catastrophe”, estimating the cost of repairs at about N1 billion.
The Minister assured the people living in the area of Government’s readiness to rectify the situation without delay.
On the way forward, the Minister directed the GM and his team-mates to provide more insulators that will serve each tower, so as to prevent future occurrence.
It would be recalled that the Minister undertook a similar assessment tour of the 300MVA Transformer in Ayedi, Ikeja, Lagos State which caught fire last year.