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Amid Incessant Power Cuts, Vandals Attack Shiroro-Katampe Transmission Line

The TCN attempted to restore operations, but were unsuccessful.

As power supply challenges persist nationwide, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) on Sunday announced that one of its critical infrastructures, the Shiroro-Katampe 330kV transmission line, had been vandalised, making it the fifth such incident within February and March this year.

The TCN’s General Manager, Public Affairs, Ndidi Mbah, said in a statement that at approximately 9am on Sunday, the Shiroro-Katampe transmission line experienced a trip.

Following initial investigations, the TCN stated that its engineers attempted to restore operation but were unsuccessful.

It stated that subsequently, efforts were made to identify the fault location as linesmen were dispatched to physically patrol the suspected area.

During the fault-tracing process, the statement said vigilance team leaders in the vicinity notified TCN linesmen of vandalism along the Shiroro-Katampe transmission line.

“TCN personnel confirmed the vandalism of the 330kV Shiroro-Katampe transmission line 1, from Towers 244 to 245, and the conductors stolen.

“TCN is currently mobilising for conductor replacement, pending completion of security operations at the site. Nevertheless, the second line remains fully operational, transmitting at full capacity to Abuja, in conjunction with the Gwagwalada 330kV line serving the Kukwaba-Apo axis.

“Also, the wheeling capacity of TCN towards Abuja and environs would be enhanced by the Lokoja – Gwagwalada 330kV transmission line,” the statement said.

The TCN said the incident added to a series of vandalism incidents recorded by the company in February 2024, including the destruction of Tower 70 along the Gwagwalada-Katampe transmission line on February 26, 2024.

Other incidents, it stated, include the vandalism of towers 377 and 378 along the Gombe-Damaturu 330kV transmission line on February 23, 2024, and the attack on towers 145 to 149 and 201 to 218 along the Owerri-Ahoda 132kV transmission line on February 15, 2024.

Additionally, on February 1, 2024, it said Tower number 388 along the Jos-Bauchi 132kV single circuit transmission line collapsed due to vandalism.

“These acts of sabotage are unacceptable, and TCN urges relevant security agencies and host communities to collaborate in apprehending the perpetrators.

“Protection of the nation’s transmission infrastructure is paramount, and collective efforts are required to curb these incidents. TCN calls upon all Nigerians to assist in reporting such acts of vandalism. Electricity infrastructure is a national asset, and safeguarding it is a collective responsibility,” it added.

Earlier, the TCN noted that the current power supply situation in Abuja was not attributable to inadequate transmission capacity resulting from the  Gwagwalada tower vandalism incident of February 26,  2024.

It explained that this is because TCN supplies Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) bulk power for Abuja and environs through three major 330kV transmission lines, whereas the three bulk power sources are to ensure flexibility and reliability.

“Contrary to recent publications in the media, therefore, the Gwagwalada incident impacted the redundancy and flexibility of bulk supply and not the capability of TCN to supply adequate bulk supply to Abuja and environs.

“This simply means that the wheeling capacity of TCN to Abuja has not been affected because the available 2X330kV Shiroro-Katampe Transmission lines are sufficient to convey allocated power to Abuja.

“It is important to note that the current power situation being experienced generally is a result of low load allocation, caused by low power generation into the nation’s grid,” the company stressed.

Emmanuel Addeh

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