Inadequate Protection, Investment in Distribution Networks, Cause of Transformation Failure, Says TCN

0

The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has attributed the failure of five of its transformers at its Abuja, Benin and Onitsha sub-stations to inadequate protection and investment on the distribution networks.

The Managing Director of TCN, Mr Usman-Gur Mohammed, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday.

“Why we are having failures of these transformers is because the distribution companies are not having investment in their network.

“Most of these transformers you see here are supplying customers of the Distribution Companies (DisCos) directly.

“So there is no protection between our equipment and that of the distribution companies.

“If there is a fault on their side, it hits our transformers directly and that is why we are having these kinds of failure.

“We have lost two transformers in Abuja, we have lost another two in Benin, and we lost one in Onitsha.

“If we don’t have protection on the side of the Discos, we will continue to lose our transformers.

“Between us and the Discos, there are supposed to be injection sub-stations where they will also have their protection and our side will also have protection,’’ he said.

Mohammed said that out of the 731 interface between TCN and the Discos, only 421 were fully protected, with the remaining interfaces not protected.

“Those areas where we are not fully protected are the areas where TCN is losing its transformers,’’ he added.

He spoke of the need for massive investment on the distribution end to protect TCN’s transformers given the high cost of the transformers.

According to him, “To import and install a transformer is close to about $2 million. So when you lose $2 million, you know what it means.

“And we don’t want this to continue and that is why we are calling for a policy and regulatory environment that will stop all these.’’

He, however, said that TCN engineers had been empowered to take over repairs of the failed transformers, adding that the repair of such faulty transformers by the engineers was reducing cost for the company.

He said: “As I told you previously, it is only in Lagos that we have people who repair these kinds of transformers.

“Since I came in February 2017, I can tell you most of the transformers that have been repaired in Lagos stopped functioning after commissioning.

“Recently, we took a 60MVA transformer that was repaired in Lagos to Benin, but at commissioning the transformer failed.

“The Karu sub-station transformer that TCN engineers are going to fix will not take more than N5 million, if we are going to transport this transformer to Lagos, which is a 60MVA, it cannot be less than N15 million.

“And that was why we decided to empower TCN engineers to carry out the repairs.

“Another one failed in Kubwa, which we have not replaced, so when we fix this one we are going to take it to Kubwa so that we replace the failed transformer.’’

He said that TCN had already signed a contract to build additional two 330KV and three 132 KV sub-stations in Abuja.

“Prsently we have two 330KVs, but we are building additional two, we are building three 132 KVs sub-stations in addition to the five we have in Abuja.

“And so all these new sub-stations that will be built, if the existing ones are not protected the new ones are also not going to be protected.

“That is why there is need for massive investment in the DisCOs,’’ Mohammed said.

NAN could not, however, reach the Executive Secretary, Research and Advocacy, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors, Mr Sunny Oduntan, as his mobile line could not be reached at the time of filing this report. (NAN)