How $2m TCN’s 28mw power transformer got burnt in Lagos

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The burnt power station.

…Blames DISCOs for dropping load to 200mw

He lamented that, the DISCOs remains their biggest problem, adding that, “While TCN is able to mobilise investment and expanding it network, DISCOs are not, and whatever happens on that side affects us.  This is part of the reason we are working the government to invest in the DISCOs, we have Distribution Expansion Program, which is being funded by the government, which TCN is actually the one implementing the project on behalf of the government which is going to be like a shareholders loan to the DISCOs, it’s ongoing.”

A 66MVA 132/33kV, (28 Megawatts, MW), power transformer at the Alagbon Transmission Sub-station in Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi, was gutted by fire during the early hours of Thursday.

Investigations revealed that the whole of Lagos Island down up to some parts of Epe went down in darkness after the incident.

It was further gathered that it took seven fire-fighting vans about 3 hours to put off the fire that started around 5:00 am.

Mr. Usman Gur Mohammed. Managing Director, Transmission Company of Nigeria, told newsmen that “From the preliminary report that we have, there was heavy rain in Lagos on Thursday, this cause the Distribution Company, DISCOs, to reduce load.

“The load transmitted to Lagos was about 1000 mega watts, it suddenly dropped to about 200mw, and obviously, when there is such drop, the voltage goes up, and when this happens, the equipments that has some weakness will give up.

“This is how the equipment on top of that transformer, which is the lighting arrestor, gives up, leading to a fire outbreak and distorting of power.”

He lamented that, the DISCOs remains their biggest problem, adding that, “While TCN is able to mobilise investment and expanding it network, DISCOs are not, and whatever happens on that side affects us.

“This is part of the reason we are working with the government to invest in the DISCOs, we have Distribution Expansion Program, which is being funded by the government, which TCN is actually the one implementing the project on behalf of the government which is going to be like a shareholders loan to the DISCOs, it’s ongoing.

“The maximum amount that it will cost to replace this is about $2 million. The transformer itself is less than $1 million, but installing a transformer requires other works, we need to change some associated equipment and we need some specialise equipment to be able to be able to change the transformer.

“We are not under pressure to change the equipment, because we are not under problem scarcity, we are currently testing the transformer to know the way forward.”

On the impact of the outbreak, he stated that, the biggest damage of the incident is on the company’s image, adding that the impact won’t be felt much by the customers, as there is lot of redundancy.

Mohammed said: “The capacity that we have here, the DISCOs are taking less than 50 percent. Here, we have five transformers, including this one that got burnt, and the five transformers; three are 60MVA, while two are 66MVA.

“The load that we are taking from those transformers is less than 50 percent for the whole of them. This transformer that is burnt now, has only one feeder, the feeders is actually less than 20 percent of the capacity of the transformer.

“What we are working on now is that we are shifting the feeder to the MOBITRA, which is about 28 percent, so when we put that one, the capacity becomes 48 percent, which is still lower than the capacity of the transformer.

“For the Eko DISCO customer, the loss they have, is from the time the transformer had issue to this time we are trying to complete the moving of the feeder to the MOBITRA.

“We also have plans to upgrade this station, under the TREP, the station is going to have additional 2x100MVA and 1x300MVA  at 330kva, we are also planning to link this place to Alepo and Akangba through 330KVA so as to provide enough flexibility for supply to the island.

“Currently, supply to the island come through a line that move from Egbin to Ajah and from Ajah to Lekki and from Lekki to Alagbon. We believe that if we put the line through from Akangba to Ijora and then to this place, we put M-1 in terms of line, it means that we are going to feed the island through Ikeja West and then through Egbin, and we are planning to put another 330KVA substation in Ijora.” (Vanguard)

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