A man walks past electricity pylons as he returns from work in Soweto, outside JohannesburgThe Transmission Company of Nigeria has announced the acquisition of a N471m software to enable it monitor activities on power transmission lines and other electricity distribution infrastructure in the country.

The General Manager, Design and Construction, TCN, Mr. Mike Ezeudenna, said the software would also help in the accurate evacuation of power by the company.

He spoke in Abuja at a meeting with officials of Penuel Consulting, the US-based engineering and aerial mapping firm providing the technology.

He said, “This meeting is aimed at bringing ICT to bear in managing transmission lines, right of way, power evacuation and addressing challenges that are associated with power in Nigeria.

“In other words, you can sit in the office and monitor what is happening on the transmission lines. It makes it easy and faster to address challenges like tower collapses and vegetation growth that can breach your lines. It is very important to have the right software and data that can be used to check changes on the lines and make decision-taking easy for you.”

Ezeudenna said when completed, the software would make things to be done faster and more efficiently because of its improved technology.

He added, “When you have the coordinates of each power structure, if there is collapse, you don’t need to go far. You can look at it from your location and call the necessary persons to locate the place.

“It makes it easy for you to repair or replace any damaged part of the transmission line. So we are trying to find out how best we can use the data they (consultants) have given us.”

The Principal, Penuel Consulting, Mr. Timmy Fadiora, said the essence of the project with the Power Holding Company of Nigeria and TCN was to be able to conduct aerial mapping of the entire transmission lines in Nigeria and their substations.

He said, “This is happening for the first time in Nigeria. It is not just to do the aerial mapping, but to actually get the geo-reference, the exact locations of each of those lines and each of those substations.

“The importance of it is that it is going to help the TCN in identifying the areas where you have energy losses on your lines. Because when you say that you generate 4,000 megawatts, by the time you transmit and distribute that to reach the users, there will be losses in the lines.”

Fadiora explained that when the exact location, site analysis and the terrain of an area is known, TCN will be able to minimise energy losses along the transmission and distribution lines.

He said, “Secondly, it also helps in the right of way in corridor encroachment. There are two types of encroachment. You have the vegetation encroachment and the people and buildings encroachment.

“With the one we have done, TCN will be able to identify the exact locations of those encroachments and be able to mitigate them. It is important to know that most of the power cuts that you have are caused by vegetation.”

Fadiora added, “With the data that we have collected for TCN, they will know the exact location of those vegetation encroachments, hence they can send people there to mitigate the issue or reorder the vegetation.”


Information from Punch was used in this report.