One of the 161,000 voltage transmission towers of the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) located in its enclave near the free zone area in Tema, has been hacked down by unknown persons, Monday dawn.
The incident led to power cuts in parts of Tema, Accra and Kumasi as the bolts and nuts of the tower were chopped off.
Mr Mark Awuah Baah, Director of Systems Operations at GRIDCo, briefing the media on the incident, said the affected tower formed part of a series of parallel connected towers that receive and transmit power from the Volta sub-station, Karpowership, Tema Termal Plant and AKSA to areas in Tema, Accra through to Kumasi.
Mr Baah indicated that at about 01:00 hours, operators at the control centre of the GRIDCo noticed that there was a fault on the system explaining that they thought it was a transient fault and therefore tried reconnecting.
But after some few minutes they realized that “it was rather a permanent fault so the thing didn’t connect, it opened again. ”
He added that the operators also noticed that some areas around Accra Tema, had lost some load, adding that it even cascaded towards Kumasi where some amount of load was also off due to the loss of transmission.
According to him, early Monday morning, the Line Patrol Team of GRIDCo decided to check what the fault was from the enclave, only to find out that the tower had collapsed.
“It has collapsed and falling onto the next tower, so we came to assess the situation, the tower has actually been vandalized, so it looks like a deliberate attempt to vandalize it, because you will realize that the bolts, the nuts have been cut which weakens the tower base and therefore it collapsed,”he stated.
Mr Baah said they had isolated the two transmission lines and restored power to all customers revealing there could be challenges towards the peak period from 17:00 to 22:00 hours, when the system mostly got stressed and that it was likely that customers might be hindered a bit during that period.
He gave the assurance that their engineers were working around the clock to ensure minimum impact on customers while analysis on the full impact of the incident was being made.
He however added that based on the analysis, they would advise the Power Distribution Company (PDS) accordingly if there was the need to reduce the load.
According to him, it would be difficult to give timelines to when the tower could be fixed as it was a massive damage adding that it could no longer be used and therefore they were combing all their warehouses across the country for the same tower and components to replace it.
He added that impact on adjourning towers would be assessed for the necessary interventions.