The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), yesterday, announced that it lost 12 transmission towers and one of its 330kv transmission lines stretching from Sapele to Ughelli in Delta State.
According to the company, a fire incident caused by a petrol tanker had razed towers 88 and 89.
Aside the setback it creates in the transmission network of the company, TCN also said the incident had caused it a huge loss to the tune of N1 billion which it would require to reconstruct the 12 towers and rehabilitate tower No 81
In a statement from its General Manager, Public Affairs in Abuja, Seun Olagunju, TCN said that the fire incident which started at about 9:42a.m. on Sunday had resulted in the melting and snapping of the all line conductors between the two towers, thus causing a loss of balance along the transmission line and swinging of towers.
The transmission company stated further that the incident resulted in the eventual collapse of the towers but that tower 81 which did not collapse had been bent and weakened by the incident.
Olagunju also said 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 TCN’s towers No 82 to 93 along the route.
She said that the collapse would result in a loss of evacuation capacity from that route.
“With the collapse of the 12 towers, TCN 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,” Olagunju said.
TCN however assured electricity consumers that the second 330kV transmission line from Ughelli to Benin and the 132kV transmission lines one and two from Benin to Ughelli would adequately evacuate power generated from the power stations to Benin.
It also said it had 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 were already at the accident scene to fully assess the level of damage to the system with a view to putting in place quick remedial plans, pending the re-construction of the 12 transmission towers.
It also said it had put in place security operatives to guard the collapsed tower from vandals.
She pleaded with vehicle drivers, especially ones that haul highly inflammable items such as petrol to drive with care and also ensure that their vehicles are in good order always, to avoid such massive losses to the company and the nation.
A fire disaster had last week destroyed some transmission equipment of the company at its Osogbo transmission office.