By Obas Esiedesa
The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) says six power transmission towers along the Delta – Benin and Delta – Sapele – Benin 330kV transmission line routes have been vandalized and some of their tower members removed.
The company said the activities of the vandals coupled with the heavy rainfall of March 17th have caused the collapse of tower No 61 alone.
TCN in a statement signed by its General Manager (Public Affairs), Ndidi Mbah, noted that as soon as the transmission line tripped, a lines’ patrol team was dispatched to investigate the cause and investigations revealed that tower No 61 had collapsed and aluminum conductors from the tower were on the ground.
“The patrol team also discovered that tower members of five other towers including the tower directly opposite tower 61 on the Ughelli – Benin line route were missing”, Mrs Mbah added.
According to her, the Delta-Benin and Delta-Sapele-Benin 330kV transmission lines evacuate power from Transcorp Power Limited, Ughelli into the national grid.
“With the collapse of tower No 61 on Delta-Benin line however, TCN is now evacuating the power through Delta – Sapele- Benin 330kV transmission line alone. Although the collapsed tower has not affected power evacuation, transmission lines redundancy is effected until the second line is restored”, she stated.
Mbah noted that TCN has been facing the challenge of repeated attacks by vandals on this axis since December 2018.
The company said it had also made formal reports to security operatives and to traditional rulers in the area, including the Orodje of Okpe and the Ovie of Oghara Kingdom, who have equally held meetings with their subjects to address the menace but to no avail.
Meanwhile, the company says it has already mobilized its quick response engineering team to the site of the incident and they have cataloged requirements that would enable them commence repair works on the affected towers.
Repair works, TCN said would be completed in four weeks.
TCN reiterated the need for host communities to watch over electricity installations in their domain, to forestall the destructive activities of vandals and also urge electricity customers nationwide to report any unusual activities around electrical installations to appropriate authorities.
The company lamented that this incident would cost TCN millions of naira to rebuild the collapsed tower and effect repairs other towers with fund that should have been ploughed into its grid expansion program.