The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) has disagreed with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN)’s assessment that one of the Disco’s feeders caused the Sunday fire at the Apo Transmission Station, Abuja.
General Manager, Corporate Communications of AEDC, Mr Fadipe Oyebode made the clarification in a Tuesday, April 30 statement.
The TCN had in a statement blamed the AEDC’s feeder for causing the fire incident, saying that the feeder had a history of tripping.
However, Oyebode said that TCN failed to put in place measures to protect AEDC’s feeder as expected of it but was instead putting up a defence that is not in tune with “standard engineering practice”.
The fire had reportedly destroyed a 45MVA Power Transformer and several other transmission equipment.
The statement read, “We are saddened (that) instead of doing a root cause analysis of the immediate and remote causes of the fire outbreak, which destroyed an expensive and critical asset with the intention of preventing a re-occurrence, TCN has resorted to a blame game with a defence that is not in tune with standard engineering practice.
“The basic engineering explanation is that, whereas the 33kV line belongs to AEDC, the protection system at the source belongs to TCN.
“For a transformer to go up in flames, both the line and transformer protection apparatus belonging to TCN failed completely.
“It is the reason for the total failure of their protection architecture that should be investigated.
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“The transformer that caught fire belongs to TCN, the protection apparatus is in the custody and under the maintenance and ownership of TCN.
“In any power system all over the world, tripping from outgoing circuits of feeders as a result of fault is an expected component of operations.
“Hence elaborate protection system is provided for such transformers against faults from outgoing feeders.
“These basic protection schemes are expected to fence the transformer from internal and external faults that usually occurs while in circuit.
“For such a facility, there are four levels of protection, there is the protection at the feeder level of feeder H13 accused of causing the fire and property of AEDC.
“The 2nd level of protection is the protection that exists on the 33kV incomer ,property of TCN and this exists between the secondary side of the transformer and the busbar in the control room of TCN.
“The 3rd level of protection which is in-built in the transformer are of various types and they include winding temperature.
“Others are oil temperature, pressure relief, buckholz, standby earth fault and restricted earth fault,this is also within the control of TCN.
“The fourth level of protection for such a facility is the protection on the 132kV side of the 45MVA, 132/33kV side of the transformer.
“This is also under the control of TCN, of the four levels of protections, three of them which are the most critical are owned, controlled and maintained by TCN.
“The essence of these multilayer protection schemes is to ensure that where one of the protection devices fail, the others will come to the rescue of the electrical apparatus.
“But in the logic of TCN, failure of one is the failure of others whereas the activation and performance of the other three, under its control is not dependent on feeder H13 alleged to have triggered the fire incident.’’