By Jumoke Adelabu
Some states in the South-West such as Oyo, Osun and Ogun may experience blackout as a giant transformer at the transmission station belonging to the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), at Ayede, Akinyemi, Ring Road, Ibadan, was yesterday gutted by fire.
Energy Worth Online learnt that the T1B 150 Mega-volt Arm (MVA) 330KVA 132, transformer, which serves some parts of Ibadan, Iseyin in Oyo; Iwo in Osun State as well as Sagamu and Ijebu-Ode in Ogun State, was gutted by fire.
It was gathered that the inferno destroyed some expensive cables that were attached with the transformer.
The Chief Operating Officer of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC), Mr. John Ayodele, while speaking with journalists after the fire incident, said Oyo State would be majorly affected by the blackout.
He appealed to the customers of IBEDC to exercise patience with the distribution company, adding that the TCN would work assiduously to resolve the problem as soon as possible.
He however noted that the restoration of power supply might not be immediate.
According to him, “For now, the situation is that everywhere in this station is dead. I am their major customer here and I am very much concerned because of how this incident would affect our customers out there. I use this opportunity to appeal to our consumers and customers that they should exercise some patience.
“When there is a fire incident like this, it may not be immediate that they will start restoring because one of the critical things is to be sure of what happened to this transformer, so that it won’t happen to others. It takes time to actually move in to say this is what has happened, and take preventive measures so that we don’t have reoccurrence again.
“This is the main station that is feeding everywhere between Oyo State and parts of Ogun State. But majorly, it is going to affect Oyo State and parts of Ogun towards Shagamu and Ijebu-Ode.
“This is a TCN station, and I came here because it is affecting us. The unfortunate incident that has led to fire gutting a 150MVA transformer is very unfortunate. Right now, we cannot talk about what caused it and what did not cause it. I think the first line of defence is to make sure that the fire is out, so that it does not affect other transformers.
“I use this opportunity to thank the NNPC Fire Service because it was when they came here that they actually put the fire under control. All others were just putting ordinary water, and ordinary water cannot help to solve electrical problem, coupled with oil, that has splashed and burning.
“So, for now, this transformer is part of the four transformers that is being used between Oyo State and Ogun State, especially Shagamu area and its environs. It is a waste. It is a total loss. It is an unfortunate incident. But when the fire is down and we are sure there is no fire, I am sure TCN will commence investigation as to why and the causes of the incident. But for now, it is indeterminable because what we need now is just to make sure that the fire is put under control”.
Also speaking with journalists, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Shina Olukolu, said, “Nobody prays for fire anywhere for whatever reason, except for domestic use. The essence of security agencies being around is to ensure that lives and property are protected. This is a federal government’s facility and looking at the environment, the cost and values of the items in this place as well as the use, it entails that we must ensure that we collectively and together secure the place.
“And that is exactly what the fire service groups from public and private organisations did; collectively they were here to quench the fire, which showed the power of unity, and there is a saying that ‘United we stand, divided we fall.
The Director, Oyo State Fire Service, Mr. Moshood Adewuyi, on his part, emphasised the need to install safety devices that would shut down the transformers automatically for another one to take over in order to prevent overworking.
“Looking at what might be the supposed cause of the fire, this is a transformer that has worked for many hours. It might be that the transformer overworked. When it overworked, there is possibility of spontaneous ignition. If nobody sets it ablaze, it would catch fire on its own because it is working with volatile liquid content,” he explained.