By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA – The power transmission to the national grid has suffered a major setback as the Okpai-Onitsha 330kV double circuit transmission line, evacuating power from the Okpai Power Station in Delta State was attacked by vandals.
The incident which took place at Asaba Uchi, Ndokwa East Local Government, has resulted in the reduction of available power to the national grid by about 480MW.
The management of Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, in a statement announcing the ugly development yesterday in Abuja, said the incident occurred at about 4:51 am on Tuesday, November 10, 2015
has said that tower no 62, along the Okpai-Onitsha 330kV double circuit transmission line, evacuating power from the Okpai Power Station in Delta State, has been vandalized.
According to TCN, “The Okpai – Onitsha 330kV transmission line tripped and the cause of the tripping was traced to tower No 62, which had been vandalized. 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 transmission grid integrity as a total collapse of this tower could bring down several other towers along the transmission line route.
“TCN management and its quick response engineering crew inspected the site of the incident, located in the swampy forest of Asaba Uchi, the same day, and have already mobilized a reputable engineering contracting firm to anchor the transmission tower temporarily, to avoid total collapse.
“Anchoring the vandalized tower will enable TCN energize 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 statement further noted that TCN will construct a new tower to replace the vandalized tower no 62, but that due to the swampy nature of the site, construction can only commence in the dry season when vehicular access is possible.
“TCN reassures that it would continue to work towards a robust transmission grid, and pleads with all, especially its host communities, to work with the Company in its fight against the nefarious activities of vandals. The construction of a new tower it noted will cost the company millions of naira which would have been applied to its grid expansion plans.”