The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) hereby states that its tower number 388 along the Jos-Bauchi, 132kV Single Circuit transmission line was vandalised, resulting in its collapse.
Ndidi Mbah, General Manager, Public Affairs , in a statement stated that the incident, suspected to have occurred on the first of February, 2024, at about 10:20PM, led to a power outage in Yobe and Borno States.
Following a line trip in Jos, Plateau State and bearing in mind past experiences associated with line tripping in that axis, the General Manager, Transmission of Bauchi Region, Engr. Tijjani Ahmadu invited the police anti-bomb squad and the Department of State Services (DSS) to accompany the TCN line crew and investigate the transmission line to find the cause of the tripping.
Upon inspection, the team uncovered remnants of detonated explosives by vandals by the tower legs, which had exploded and caused the tower to collapse.
This incident mirrors a recent and similar act on December 21, 2023, which brought down towers T372 and T373 along the Gombe-Damaturu 330kV Single Circuit transmission line, killing a security operative and affecting power supply in the same Yobe and Borno States.
The line and towers from the December incident were fully reconstructed and energized on 2nd February 2024.
Meanwhile, TCN has engaged one of its contractors on an emergency basis to quickly mobilize to the site of the incident to commence the reconstruction and restringing of the affected line and tower.
While TCN is determined to keep working at rehabilitating and further expanding the nation’s bulk power transmission network, to ensure consistent bulk power transmission, it is pertinent to note that the continued vandalism and theft of power equipment is a constant setback to the ongoing implementation of the transmission system expansion plan.
This is because funds earmarked for grid expansion are usually diverted as a matter of emergency, to repair vandalized power infrastructure, and sometimes to avert grid collapse.
In a related development, the TCN announced that the grid experienced a partial disturbance at about 11:21Hours today with Ibom power islanded, feeding Eket, Ekim, Itu & Uyo transmission substations, during the period of partial disturbance.
According statement from the agency, TCN initiated immediate restoration of the affected part of the grid, and presently, the grid is fully restored.
Prior to the incident, total generation on the grid was 3,901.25 MW at 08:00Hours, a little over three hours before time of partial collapse.
It is important to note that low power generation has persisted since January 2024, to date, exacerbating daily due to the lingering gas constraint.
According to the National Control Center (NCC), the Internet of Things (IoT) revealed that just before the partial disturbance, which occurred at 11:21Hrs Sunday, Sapele Steam & Egbin Substations lost a total of 29.32MW & 343.84MW at 11:20:14Hrs & 11:20:17Hrs respectively, totalling 373.16MW.
The agency further stated that the combined with the current low power generation due to gas constraints, caused the imbalance leading to the partial system disturbance.
“Gas constraints continue to impact grid flexibility and stability. Ensuring sufficient gas supply to power generating stations is crucial for grid stability as sufficient generation allows for better grid management in the event of sudden generation losses like this.
“TCN will investigate the cause of tripping of Sapele Steam & Egbin power generating units.”