Electricity consumers in the port city of Apapa in the heart of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, and its environs will suffer power supply disruption for some time to come as the 30 MVA transformer at the 132/33kv transmission substation which services the area has packed up. A new source of supply is being looked for pending when a replacement would come.

The 40-year-old 30 MVA transformer with 24-megawatts capacity packed up because of overloading, BusinessDay gathered. It was said to be carrying between 26MW and 27MW consistently over a long period with just four fans as against eight fans that should have been used in the cooling process.

The rating of the transformer is a function of its cooling. It can only supply 24MW if all the eight fans are working, a source close to the power industry told BusinessDay.

“So if all the fans are not on, you cannot expect the transformer to carry 24MW,” the source said. “Before it finally packed up, it was said to have tripped off about seven times, an indication that the transformer is beyond repair.”

Unfortunately for Apapa, home to Nigeria’s two busiest seaports, the two additional transformers that were already positioned at the substation to reinforce power supply to the area were removed to Egbin and Ilupeju sometime ago when it was alleged that there was a proposal that Japanese Agency for International Cooperation indicated interest in replacing the transformer with 2no 100mMVA in Apapa area. But unfortunately, the COVID 19 pandemic has stalled their coming into the country.

To mitigate the effect of the faulty transformer at the substation station, BusinessDay learnt that an arrangement has been made to get supply from the transmission station located at Otto Wharf, called Amuwo-Odofin transmission substation.

The implication is that supply to both consumers at Amuwo-Odofin and those in Apapa would have to be rationed or go through load shedding, meaning that business and homes in Apapa would have to buy more diesel to power their generators to enjoy minimum level of services.

BusinessDay found that a fairly used or refurbished transformer, which may also not last, is being sought from a company in Ikorodu, Lagos State.

When BusinessDay sought the reaction of Eko Electricity Distribution Company over the matter, Segun Kosoko, its public relations manager for Apapa Business Unit, confirmed that to mitigate the effect of the faulty transformer at Apapa, the company had to connect to the transmission substation at Otto Wharf for supply.

“Aside from that, there are efforts being made to link up with another transmission substation from Tin Can to link up with a 33kv line to also supply Apapa,” Kosoko said.

But Adebola Lamina, general manager, Lagos region of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), told BusinessDay that effort is being made to restore normalcy at the substation.

“We are planning into install a 60MVA transformer that would double the capacity of what was there before. We are working seriously on that now. Very soon they would be installed,” Lamina said.

 

Source: Business Day

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