Benin Disco blames TCN for 200,000 customers’ power outage

Power Station

By Esther Abiola

The Benin Electricity Development Company (BEDC) on Wednesday blamed its inability to provide services to about 200,000 customers on the failure of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN’s) to fix some of its faulty transformers.

Its Managing Director, Mrs. Funke Osibodu, who disclosed this while interacting with newsmen in Benin City, listed the faulty TCN transformers to include the 60MVA at Effurun damaged as a result of bush fire since 2015, 40MVA transformer at Okene destroyed since 2016, the 150MVA transformer at Omotosho, 30MVA transformer at Omuaran, and the faulty 60MVA transformer in Benin.

She said that it was the inability of this transformers to function effectively that had culminated in the company’s inability to supply about 100MW of power to consumers.

According to her, the failed transformers affected the company’s 33kv feeders in areas like Effurun, Okada, Omotosho, Otun, Nekpennekpen, Koko and Ikpoba-Dam.
She said BEDC is liaising with the TCN to resolve the issues with the transformers in order to improve power supplies to the affected areas.

She, however, said residence in some parts of Benin City affected by the failed TCN 60MVA power transformer were currently getting partial services, with some customers enjoying about six hours of daily electricity instead of total blackout.

The BEDC boss while reacting to the directive by Governor Godwin Obaseki that some staff of the company be arrested for allegedly stealing transformer bought by Ihovbor Community, denied such allegations noting that it was impossible for staff of the firm to have stolen its property, explaining that the purported stolen transformer was part of assets the company bought from the Federal Government.

She said the transformer in question was moved to Ubiaja in Esan South East local government area and that the claims by the community on the stolen transformer was incorrect and misleading.

On why Ihovbor community has no power supply, Osibodu said the actions of vandals on its 2.5MVA transformer caused serious mechanical and electrical damage which made it difficult to supply electricity to the area.

“BEDC acquired all the assets of the defunct PHCN in November, 2013 and the 2.5MVA and 33/11kv transformers at Ihovbor were among them. The two transformers were procured and installed by the Federal Government through the NIPP project and was handed over to BEDC as part of the sale transaction.
“We moved the idle transformer in December to Ubiaja. When the existing transformer at Ihovbor failed in October, we provided a replacement”, Mrs Osibodu explained.

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