Hoodlums damage six TCN transmission towers

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There may shortfall in electricity transmission following vadalisation of six transmission towers of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) along Delta-Sapele- Benin axis by suspected hoodlums.

TCN raised the alarm on Tuesday that six power transmission towers along the Delta-Benin and Delta-Sapele-Benin 330kV transmission line routes were vandalised and some of their tower members removed, leading to the collapse of Tower No 61 alone.

This, it said, coupled with the heavy rainfall of March 17 caused the collapse of the tower.

Ndidi Mbah, General Manager, Public Affairs, in a statement, said 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.

According to the statement, 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 said that it was now evacuating the power through Delta-Sapele- Benin 330kV transmission line alone.

Although the collapsed tower had not affected power evacuation, transmission lines redundancy was effected until the second line would be restored.

The statement further added that TCN had been facing the challenge of repeated attacks by vandals on this axis since December 2018.

The company said it had made formal reports to security operatives and traditional rulers in the area, including the King of Okpeland and the Ovie of Oghara, who had also held meetings with their subjects to address the menace, but to no avail.

Meanwhile, the company had already mobilised its quick response engineering team to the site of the incident and they had cataloged requirements that would enable them commence repair works on the affected towers, which 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, even as it urged electricity customers nationwide to report 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 programme.

The company, however, expressed commitment and resolve to continue to expand the nations grid, including rehabilitating any of its equipment where necessary, to ensure seamless bulk electricity transmission nationwide.

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