By Segun Giwa
The Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) has said that the acute power supply limitation and the inability to connect more communities in Ondo South to the national grid was due to a damaged breaker at the Ondo 132/33KV Station.
Mrs. Kunbi Labiyi, the Chief State Head, Ondo and Ekiti States, gave the clarification in a statement made available to newsmen on Wednesday in Akure.
The riverside communities have been in darkness for close to 10 years.
Parts of Ondo South that are affected by the blackout are: Okitipupa, Ilaje, Ese-Odo and Irele Local Government Areas.
Labiyi said that the inability to connect the communities to the national grid was due to a damaged breaker at the Ondo 132/33KV Station and the inability of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to make bulk power available for evacuation in the area.
“Power supply to Ondo South zone has always been grossly inadequate due largely to availability from Ondo 132/33KV injection substation which is the only source of supply now.
“This limitation has further been worsened by a faulty breaker on one of the 2X30MVA transformers which tied customers from Ondo town down to Okitipupa on one 30MVA transformer, thereby reducing what could be wheeled out at any particular time,” she said.
According to her, the starting point of getting power to customers in the value chain is the TCN which makes bulk power available to distribution companies to evacuate at different locations which unfortunately has not been met in this case.
She added that Ondo TCN, where Ondo South currently gets supply was about 150km away, with network traversing thick vegetation and farmlands which results to low quality of supply.
“Until TCN embarks on prompt repair of the faulty breaker, the challenge in Ondo South will persist.
“As a strong commitment towards getting a sustainable solution to the power crisis in Ore and Ondo South, we have entered into a third-party arrangement to connect the region through an off grid embedded power which is billed to materialise soon.
“However, we are hopeful that the ongoing construction of Erinje 2X60 MVA 132/33KV injection substation by the NDDC will complement all the efforts already put in place by BEDC when it is completed, “ she said.