By Bassey Udo
The reconstruction works on the vandalized Odukpani – Ikot Ekpene 330kV double-circuit transmission tower No. 104 is about 70 percent completed, the Executive Director, Transmission Service Provider (TSP), Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Victor Adewumi, has disclosed.
Adewumi who was at the tower located in Oku Iboku Community in Itu Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, to assess the level of the repairs of the vandalized power tower, said the reconstruction works have attained about 70 percent completion stage.
The Director was on the inspection visit to the site located along the Calabar-Itu highway at the instance of the Minister of Power, Abubakar D. Aliyu.
He however said work was still ongoing to fortify other towers minimally vandalized along the same line route, to enable TCN engineers carry out the restringing and tensioning of the 330kV DC transmission line, before it is finally energised.
Adewumi, who briefed newsmen at the site, said the tower has been reconstructed and work has reached an advanced stage after three weeks, even with difficulties posed by the terrain.
“The tower has been fully reconstructed, restringing has to be done with the utmost care, after other towers that were also tampered with, have been fortified, to avoid the collapse of more towers. We are however doing everything possible to reconnect the line to the national grid as soon as possible,” he said.
The tower, he said, was not the only one that collapsed after being vandalized.
He said restringing the transmission line involved bringing down the entire 330kV DC line on some suspension towers that were minimally vandalized, up to the nearest tension towers on both sides of the collapsed tower and fortifying the suspension towers, before restringing the lines, to ensure quality work was done.
With reconstruction works reaching 70 percent completion stage, he said TCN was working hard to ensure that the 330kV DC transmission line was completed and reconnected to the national grid within one week.
He said the reconnection of the line to the national grid would ensure the evacuation of over 400MW stranded power at the Odukpani Power Plant near Calabar, as well as the restoration of power supply to Cross River State.
Adewumi appealed to the public to help TCN in the fight against the vandalism of power infrastructure, saying that such acts were detrimental to the collective interest of Nigerians and efforts to expand the power infrastructure in the country.
He also assured residents of Cross River State and parts of Akwa Ibom State affected by the incident that the company was fast-tracking the completion of the repair works to ensure early restoration of electricity supply in the area.