When the TCN MD/CEO called for the capitalisation of DisCos in a widely publicised comment including the power perspective, he wittingly or unwittingly called for a debate.
For AEDC that the TCN MD/CEO frontally attacked, the question is: which is more urgent – capitalisation of the DisCos or the expertise in TCN? Like every other question of this type, different respondents will have different views. Without equivocation, TCN interruptions of AEDC network is more than what the rains have done.
Admittedly, some AEDC 33kV feeders tripped this evening (April 25th.) as the rain began. This is certainly not our desire as such interruptions would have impinged on the comfort of our customers including TCN staff within Abuja. We regret this and we apologise for it.
However, one principal factor that aids the tripping of feeder at any voltage level is the relay setting of such feeders. For a very long time, TCN has resisted a coordination of the setting of their relays in such a way that it will allow for professionally determibed tolerance level. For reasons best known to them (TCN), this coordination has been resisted till now. Thus we ask – is it a case of funds or expertise.
But we are not really surprised at the recommendation of the TCN MD/CEO. At almost every point, the view is that money is a replacement for strategic thinking.
Aside from the above, we have seen a consistent attempt by TCN to engage in blame game and denigrate the DisCos especially AEDC by diverting attention from the main issues. One of the weakest link in the value chain today is the TCN and this is manifested through the poor protection of its equipment. TCN, in the same statement where it called for DisCo capitalisation admitted that voltage imbalance from DisCo will lead to the damaging of their equipment. The question is: where is the protection of the TCN?
TCN knows it is not immuned from system disturbances, which inevitably affects the operations of the DisCos all over the country. But let us localize by looking at their performance in Abuja in the last 72hrs.
In one day alone, precisely on the 23rd of April, 2020, 4nos TCN interface points suffered similar challenges within our franchise Area.
- 2x60MVA, 132/33kV Kubwa TS, was off supply from early morning to late evening hours, affecting power supply to Bwari, Dawaki, part of Gwarinpa, Kubwa and Dei-Dei
- Wire cut on 132kV Karu – Keffi line, affecting power supply to the entire Nasarawa state for several hours.
- 1x60MVA , 132/33kV transformer at Okene TS. This also lasted for several hours affecting power supply to Okene, Kabba, Ososo and environs.
- One of the 2x60MVA, 132/33kV transformers at Katampe 2 was also out for hours, affecting power supply to Wuse 2, Mabush, Jahi and environs.
It is very clear that TCN network is suffering from inadequate protection, as their relays do not trip during disturbances such as wire cut even when they rest on the ground thereby constituting serious danger to members of the public.
On the 20th April 2020, there was wire cut on feeder 5 from the Central Area TS but the feeder did not trip. There is a litany of such cases like that.
What more can we say other than to plead with TCN to concentrate on their own challenges. For instance, TCN’s 132kV line 2 from Katampe TS to Central Area has been off supply since June, 2019. Despite several letters and verbal communication, this has not been resolved. As a result of this fault, AEDC is forced to embark on massive loadshedding of customers in the affected areas, which include Central Area, Maitama, Garki, Jabi and environs.
Finally, we appreciate the concern of the MD/CEO of TCN. The constant chorus of capitalisation as the only solution to the chalkenges that assail the power sector says only one thing – where the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem will look like a nail. To do so is to imply that capitalization is the only prescription being recommended by TCN whereas it is not. It goes deeper and further than that.
On our part as a member of the value chain, we are open to constructive ideas that will deliver greater value to customers in our franchise area and by extension, DisCo customers all over the country.