The management of BEDC Electricity Plc. (BEDC) has raised the alarm of suspected sabotage over the damaged BEDC 2.5mva power transformer at Ihovbor community in Umunwonde local Government area of Edo State which occurred in the early hours of last Saturday within the Ihovbor community.
According to BEDC, the suspicion stemmed out from the series of events in respect to the earlier issues of failed transformers in the same location and the last allegation of stolen transformer against BEDC.
BEDC affirmed that again ( for the third time within two years) it had replaced the faulty 2.5mva power transformer in Ihovbor on the 6th December, 2018 with a brand new Schneider made 2.5MVA transformer, which has 2017 as year of manufacture.
The company recalled that a previous 2.5mva transformer in Ihovbor community became faulty in October 2017, and it equally provided a replacement transformer for the community and commissioned same in February 2018.
It explained that on the 13th of July 2018, a report of vandalism on this transformer was made to its office by the service engineer Pipeline station where it was reported that all the connected high tension cables in the station were all carted away. On the 14th September 2018, a formal report was received from the Ihovbor community on same issue of substation vandalisation, adding “It is pertinent to state that the community claimed that they caught the vandals and also handed them over to the Nigeria Police. BEDC is still waiting for the outcome of the investigation and prosecution of these vandals with this being partly responsible for the delay in the replacement of the vandalized items. It is also very pertinent to state that the substation yard in question is always under the lock and key by the community and BEDC staff will always have to call for the attention of the community to gain access before any work is carried out in the station. “
On the 24th October, 2018, BEDC said it had released the replacement cables and associated materials for the restoration of power supply to the community, and moved in immediately with members of the community in attendance to commence work on the replacement of the vandalized items.
The company said further that after completion of work and in the attempt to energize the transformer on soak, the transformer tripped off, while further investigation confirmed that the transformer was found faulty and could not be used.
“This transformer which had previously tested okay had various debris in the compound in addition to water component inside. The failure of this previous transformer led to the community raising the alarm that BEDC stole their earlier transformer, the case of which is still before the Edo State Police command undergoing investigation.
“It was after this incidence, despite the on-going Police investigation, and in its attempt to be responsive to the community that on the 6th of December, 2018 BEDC commissioned a brand new Schneider made 2.5MVA transformer with 2017 as year of manufacture.
“After necessary checks and testing, BEDC commenced checking of the various distribution transformers and cables to the premises of customers, whilst the switching on of the power supply to the customers’ premises commenced from 20th December. As at 22nd of December, several distribution transformers with customers had been turned on in Ihovbor community. It should be noted that this work was ongoing despite a threat letter received by a purported lawyer to the community. Also on one of the days our staff we threatened and almost prevented from working- with same reported to the king,” the company added.
BEDC said that It was however “very unfortunate and sad to advise that on the early hours of yesterday last Saturday, report reaching us confirmed the mysterious cut of the high tension wire at a particular point, which fell and bridged the low tension lines crossing resulting in high current to the newly installed transformer and subsequently rendered the transformer damaged.”
The company argued that going by the nature of the observed cut high tension wire suggested a deliberate action and intention to destroy the transformer, noting that “since the commissioning of the 4no high tension lines from the Ihovbor transmission station to other parts of the metropolis by the National Independent Power Project (NIPP), BEDC has never recorded any wire cut. The recent wire cut occurred suspiciously and mysteriously within the vicinity of Ihovbor 2.5mva station, thereby rendering the substation non useable.”
BEDC urged the Police to investigate this act of sabotage on BEDC installation in Ihovbor 2.5MVA station as BEDC.