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TCN loses $4m to Kebbi fire incident



TCN Engineers working to restore power after the fire incident at its Kebbi substation that lasted from Thursday night till Friday morning

The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has said a fire incident at its Kebbi substation which started on Thursday night till Friday morning consumed two transformers worth four million dollars.

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, TCN, Dr Sule AbdulAzeez, told journalists during a visit to the scene of the incident on Friday that the damages done to the power station by the fire incident was colossal.

According to him, the fire consumed one 90MVA (330KV/132KV) and 60MVA (132KV/33KV) valued at 4 million U.S Dollars.

He said the fire incident has thrown residents of Kebbi and neighbouring into blackout, but assured that TCN engineers were working to remedy the situation.

The TCN boss added that though the company lost two transformers and a control room, its priority was on how to restore light back to Kebbi people and neighbouring states.

AbdulAzeez said he received a phone call about the fire incident on Thursday evening and he decided to travel down to Kebbi to see what really happened.

“That’s why I felt it’s very necessary for me to come down here myself, as well the Executive Director Special Service Provider and General Manager in-charge of Kaduna region to have first-hand information about the incident,” he said.

The TCN boss assured that an investigation committee comprising professionals and specialists would be established with a view to finding out the main cause of the unfortunate incident.

He said: “This station is also serving Sokoto not only Kebbi. So, the first thing we are going to do is to backfeed Sokoto through Talatan Mafara in Zamfara State.

“Here in Kebbi also, very quickly, we have already mobilised our engineers, in fact; they have already started opening the cable tranches.

“Again, we have a transformer here which was supplying Niger Republic, now, it’s not supplying any place, so, we are going to use that transformer to make sure that people of Kebbi get light as quickly as possible.”

AbdulAzeez assured that for the permanent solution, it would take the company two weeks the arrangement of transformers and other things to restore the normal power supply.

He, however, said: “We are still looking at the possibility of back-feeding Kebbi from Sokoto and that can be done in two or three days.”

The managing director appealed to customers to be patient because the incident came unexpectedly, adding that it had happened and “by the grace of God Almighty we are going to resolve the problem as soon as possible.

He assured that the situation “is under control”, and TCN would do a comprehensive check of the affected transformers immediately to enable it to properly assess the transformers for repair work.

The TCN boss also paid homage on the Emir of Gwandu, Alhaji Muhammad Iliyasu Bashar, at the Abdullahi Fodio palace in Birnin Kebbi to seek royal blessings, assuring that work had already begun towards restoring power to Kebbi state.

Responding, the emir appreciated the MD for personally coming to assess the situation by himself, saying “Power had now become gold, when there is no light, there will be no phone, there will be no communication and all other activities will stand still”.

While expressing happiness that work had already begun, the royal father assured the TCN chief of total support and cooperation to enable them to discharge their responsibilities diligently.

The fire that gutted the two transformers was put out by the fire service personnel and rainfall ensued that very night.

But at about 4 a.m. on Friday, the transformer tank busted and re-ignited the fire again.