Electricity blackout: AEDC refutes allegation of load dropping by TCN

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The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) has debunked a statement issued on Monday by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), alleging that excessive dropping of load by the Abuja company was responsible for the shattering of its equipment and the subsequent 72-hour outage which occurred in Lokoja, the Kogi State, from Friday, 23rd February, 2018, to Monday, 26th February, 2018.

“We wish to state categorically that this allegation by the TCN is not only untrue and unfounded, but also unfortunate, especially coming at a time when all stakeholders in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) are joining hands to ensure sustainable improvement in power supply across the country,” Oyebode Fadipe, AEDC Head of Corporate Communications declared in a statement on Tuesday.

He stated that AEDC neither drops load in its Lokoja network nor any other part of its operational area, which comprises the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Kogi, Nasarawa and Niger states, stressing that it has in fact been yearning for more electricity allocation to enable it meet the demands of its customers.

The company explained that contrary to the claim by the Transmission Company of Nigeria, the recent outage in Lokoja and environs which lingered for about 72 hours resulted from a maintenance work, which was scheduled to start and end on Friday, 23rd of February, 2018, but had to be extended to the evening of Monday, February 26, 2018.

According to the statement: “The TCN had duly notified our Area Office in Lokoja that it was carrying out a maintenance work on its 150MVA transformer at the 330/132 transmission station in Lokoja on Friday, February 23, 2018, but we later got to know that the maintenance had been extended beyond that day, and by Sunday, February 25, 2018, it was all too obvious again that TCN could not conclude its upkeep on the transformer, forcing yet another extension to Monday, February 26, 2018”.

It said further that: “It is rather unfortunate that the TCN will also turn round to blame the lingering outage in Lokoja on AEDC, when the actual reason for the outage was quite obvious”.

AEDC also said that the TCN’s statement implies insufficient resilience in the transmission system, especially, when the small load of Lokoja is considered relative to the entire load on the transmission network, adding that “assuming the TCN’s allegation was correct, the implication is that every time a load was dropped due to faults and other causes a TCN equipment will be blown up because of the high voltage”. The distribution company said that: “Root cause analysis approach backed by system simulations is what should be used to inform causes of failures on the system”.

AEDC made passionate appeal to all stakeholders in the NESI against buck passing, assuring: “we should all work towards building on the successes that have been recorded so far in the power sector, in order to win greater public confidence in our capacity to turnaround the sector”.

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