Managing Director TCN, Mohammed
By CLEMENT NWOJI, Abuja
Fire has engulfed the 60MVA substandard transformer of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) which was undergoing installation in Uyo transmission substation.
The transformer manufactured by LEEEC, was one out of 16 transformers procured by TCN in 2011and since then, nine out of this model of transformers in the system, have either caught fire or failed between 2011 to date.
The incident occured at about 4pm Thursday, causing power outage in Uyo town eventhough, TCN is said to have embarked on action to restore power to the areas affected.
The TCN General Manager (Public Affairs), Ndidi Mbah, explained in a statement that the new 60MVA power transformer, was being installed by one of the company’s contractors Messrs T&D Technology Limited, as at the time of the incident.
TCN regretted the inconveniences caused to Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution company customers in Uyo main town, Ikot Ekpene, Enitan and Abak as effort was being made to ensure the station is energized unfailingly on Friday 2nd March, 2018.
She said that the fire which was eventually put out by the TCN engineers in conjunction with the Julius Berger and Akwa Ibom fire services, destroyed vital parts of the new 60MVA power transformer.
However, she said TCN engineers were able to successfully isolate the burning 60MVA, 132/33kV power transformer from other energized parts of the substation which include two other 60MVA 132/33kV power transformers, to prevent further escalation and destruction of the entire station.
As a result, the substation was temporarily shut down, Mbah said.
Currently, there is power outage in Uyo town, Ikot Ekpene, Etinan and Abak which take supply from the distribution load center serviced by the Uyo transmission substation.
She expressed hope that power supply would however be restored Friday to the affected areas as soon as TCN engineers conclude tests that would enable them switch on the other two power transformers in the substation.
Further, TCN disclosed that the burnt transformer was part of the sixteen (16) number 60MVA power transformers manufactured by LEEEC, procured by TCN in 2011.
Nine out of this model of transformers in the system, have either caught fire or failed between 2011 to date. This brand of transformer, TCN noted, has been found to be of very low quality, fraught with problems in the system.
In view of this, TCN said it has already taken steps to avoid this kind of equipment through the recruitment of a design engineer, who has standardized and strengthened TCNs design of major equipment in its substations.
In the same vein, the company said it is now using international standard laboratories to test the process of manufacture of its transformers and other major equipment.
These laboratories would issue certification for every major transmission equipment manufactured for Nigeria before they are shipped into the country.