At least 48 critical pieces of transmission equipment are currently out of service across the country due to fault, fire incidents and vandalism, thus worsening the already precarious power supply situation nationwide.
Information obtained from the National Control Centre, Osogbo, Osun State, revealed that nine transformers, 39 critical transmission lines, ground switches and breakers/isolators were currently unavailable.
The pieces of equipment, according to the Transmission Company of Nigeria, are responsible for massive transmission handling.
For instance, the 162MVA 330/132/33kV transformer at the Ajaokuta Transmission Station is out due to unavailable secondary lightning arrester, while the 90MVA 330/132/33kV transformer at the Brinin Kebbi Transmission Station is also said to be out due to yellow and blue phases’ bushing problem.
Similarly, a 150MVA 330/132/33kV transformer at the Ikeja West Transmission Station located in Ayobo area of Lagos State was razed on May 14, 2013 and it has yet to be replaced.
The TCN had said then that the fire was caused by some defects in the transformers, but eight months after the incident, the transformer has yet to be replaced.
Also, the 45MVA 132/33/11kV and 40MVA 132/33kV transformers at the Akoka Transmission Station are down due to a fire outbreak that affected the blue and yellow-phase CVT and the lightning arrester.
While the 40MVA 132/33kV transformer at the Ado Ekiti Transmission Station lost its primary breaker to pole discordance, the National Control Centre, Osogbo, said two 15 MVA 132/11kV transformers at the Onitsha Transmission Station lost their primary breakers to explosion on January 23, 2014.
Another 60MVA 132/33kV transformer at the Onitsha Transmission Station was said to have been isolated due to oil leakage on the same day.
According to the NCC, five transmission lines were unavailable as of Sunday, January 26, 2014. They include the Afam/Alaoji 132kV line 1 in the Port Harcourt region, which was said to have been vandalized; and the Omoku-Port Harcourt main 132kV line, which is out as a result of a collapsed tower.
The other non-functional transmission lines, which are located in the Lagos region, include the 132kV Akangba/Itire line 1, which is affected by a faulty line isolator at the Akangba Transmission Station; the 132kV Ikeja West-Ilupeju line 2, which is out due to a cut red phase conductor; and the 330kV Egbin/Aja line 4.
Thirty other transmission lines are currently out due to missing sky wires. The NCC records showed that the Omotosho/Ikeja West line, Egbin/Ikeja West line 3; Ikeja West/Olorunsogo line; 330kV Ikeja West/Osogbo line; Ikeja West/Alimosho/Ogba 132kV lines 1 and 2; and the Ikeja West/Akangba 330kV line 2 are all out due to missing sky wire.
Others are the Ikeja West 132kV Ilupeju lines 1 and 2; Akangba/Itire 132kV lines 1 and 2; Ikeja West/Agbara 132kV lines 1 and 2; Ikeja West/Otta 132kV lines 1 and 2; Ogba/Otta 132kV line; and Ikeja West/Otta 132kV lines 1 and 2.
The NCC said the 330kV Osogbo lines 1 and 2 and the Ganmo line under the purview of the Jebba Transmission Station; as well as the 132kV Bida line at the Minna Transmission Station; 132kV Keffi line under the Apo Transmission Station; and the 330kV Jebba line 2 under the Shiroro Transmission Station, were all vandalised.
Nine other lines are unavailable due to faulty breakers and isolators, and the lines, according to the NCC, are located in the Port Harcourt, Lagos, Shiroro and Benin regions.
Some of them were said to have been vandalized.
At least, three ground switches are also said to be unavailable due to defects.
Stable power supply has remained a challenge in the country because of very poor infrastructure base and the transmission aspect of the entire value chain is considered to be the most troubled.
The TCN is the only Power Holding Company of Nigeria. The successor company is still owned by the Federal Government, but it is considered as the weakest link in the country’s electricity network.