Power supply worsens as five transmission lines fail

Power transmission grid28 May 2014, Lagos – Five power transmission lines located in Port Harcourt, Benin and Lagos are currently unavailable for different reasons, thereby worsening the electricity supply situation in the country.

This was indicated in the daily operational report of the Transmission Company of Nigeria made available to our correspondent.                                                                                                                                    The Afam/Alaoji 132kV line 1 located in Port Harcourt, Rivers State is said to be undergoing ‘reconducting’ as well as the 330kV Sapele/Delta line situated in Benin.

For the Lagos region, the 132kV Akangba/Itire line 1 is said to be down owing to faulty line isolator at the Akangba Transmission Station.

The 132kV Ikeja West-Ilupeju line 2 is also out due to a cut in the red phase conductor.

The 330kV Egbin/Aja line 4 is said to be unavailable due to suspected electric field at the Aja generation station chamber.

Power generation had dropped to 3,674 megawatts on Saturday, May 24, 2014 from the peak of 4,105MW recorded last month, representing a 10.49 per cent drop.

The Egbin gas power station was said to be generating the most at 550.17MW, followed by Okpai, Afam VI and Delta, with 456.83MW, 387.95MW and 365.63MW, respectively.

The Alaoji NIPP, Omoku and Trans Amadi power plants were said to be generating nil megawatts.

The Senate Committee on Privatisation had last week summoned Manitoba Hydro, the Canadian company managing the Transmission Company of Nigeria, to appear before it to explain the reason(s) for poor electricity transmission in the country.

The Chairman of the committee, Senator Olugbenga Obadara, during a meeting between the lawmakers and the management team of the Lagos region of the TCN, expressed disappointment over the company’s low capacity and poor performance in the region.

He said, “The Gencos and Discos complain about transmission, and in fairness to them, the transmission infrastructure is weak. We have seen that. That is the essence of the oversight visit.

“If we are not here, we won’t know. That is why we are calling on Manitoba that is contractually in charge of transmission to tell us what the problem really is.”

Obadara said the committee would demand the contract the Federal Government signed with Manitoba, peruse it and take the company up on the contract when it appeared before the committee.

The transmission infrastructure has been described as the weakest link in the country’s electricity supply chain, with failing and dilapidated lines in need of replacement.

In spite of the private sector players’ incursion into the industry, inadequate transmission infrastructure is one of the challenges hindering efficient transmission of power to consumers.

The transmission network currently has the capability to evacuate less than 3,000MW of electricity and covers less than 40 per cent of the country’s land area.

To solve the problem, the government had handed over the TCN to Manitoba Hydro of Canada under a three-year management contract worth $24m.

The General Manager, Transmission, TCN, Lagos Region, Mr. Oyeleke Adeoye, lamented the lack of adequate funding for facilities and manpower; inadequate operational and maintenance vehicles; lack of safety facilities such as fire-fighting trucks and absence of redundant lines to augment the active ones.

According to him, the Lagos region, with four subregions and one work centre, gets about N200m per annum for operation and maintenance despite wheeling about 45 per cent of the power generated in the country.


– The Punch

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