It has emerged that while the state owned 191megawatts (mw) Ibom Power plant is producing every day, transmission and distribution related shortcomings have caused persistent power outage in Akwa Ibom state. Parts of Uyo, the state capital had 18 hours to 20 hours power supply until in recent times when power supply reduced drastically.
The Head of plant operations at Ibom Power Company Limited, Aniebiet Umoh speaking on the issue said “Ibom power Unit 3 has been producing an average of 112mw every day, there is no reason Akwa Ibom State should be without power supply at any time if the distribution systems are on”.
Feeder Details in Akwa Ibom state estimate the total capacity of the three major Injection substations responsible for distribution of electricity at 159mw – Eket (56mw), Uyo (64mw) and Itu (39mw).
“Recently, the 132kV transmission line from Itu, in Akwa Ibom State to Aba, in Abia State snapped which disconnected the State from the national grid. Ibom power Management pre-empted this occurrence when they installed a Dead bus technology which allows Ibom plant to operate on island mode giving power to Akwa Ibom state independent of the national grid” he said.
He explained further that on island mode, all the over 100mw produced by Ibom power plant can be utilized in Akwa Ibom state as long as Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC) picks the minimum 10mw load requirement for the plant to remain on island mode. When the minimum load was not picked we had to shut down the plant until the line from Itu was reconnected”.
In his reaction, the Head, PHEDC Integrated Business Centre which covers Eket region, Engr. Akanimoh Ekpe said as a safety precaution PHEDC turned-off its system in the region when the Itu – Aba line snapped. He said after taking the necessary precautions when PHEDC was ready to turn on their system Ibom power was already shut down.
He said PHEDC is working with Ibom Power and Akwa Ibom State Government on distribution network system improvement through the “Power for all” initiative which includes metering all customers in Akwa Ibom. He added that implementation of the power for all initiative will enhance sustainability of steady power supply across the State.