The Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, has said its current transmission expansion initiative is designed to increase the nation’s grid transmission capacity to 20,000 mega watts in the next three years.
TCN’s Managing Director, Usman Mohammed, disclosed this at a meeting in Abuja on the impact assessment study for the second Ikeja West 330kv transmission reinforcement project.
The meeting between TCN and West Africa Power Pool, WAPP, was designed to kick start discussions on the study and completion of the Ikeja West 330kv transmission line.
The line was designed to supply electricity from Nigeria to Benin Republic and the West Africa sub-region.
Mr Mohammed said it was necessary to begin the discussion to complete the second Ikeja West 330kv transmission line given the increase in demand for more power from the grid .
He also said that TCN had recorded some achievements in stabilising the grid, adding that the stability had heightened the prospect of the interconnection of Nigerian grid with that of neighbouring countries.
According to Mohammed, TCN is no longer the weakest link in the power value chain.
He further said TCN had been accelerating the implementation of several transmission projects with support from the Federal Government and some international donor agencies.
“TCN has come out with the expansion programme and some of the projects had gone far in their implementation.
“The transmission expansion line seeks to expand the grid to about 20,000 megawatts capacity in the next three years.
“It is also intended to support the current institutional reform that will make TCN a 21st century compliant transmission company,’’ he said.
He also said that TCN had deployed its in-house capacity to install transformers all over the country.
“Last week, we installed three transformers in Lagos, on Friday next week, we will complete the commissioning of two transformers, one in Zaria and another one in Funtua.
“In the next two weeks again, we are installing three transformers in Port Harcourt region and they will be installed using in- house capacity at a cost of less than 10 per cent of what was used with contractors,’’ he said.
He said TCN, as the biggest contributor to WAPP, was interested in strengthening it to archive its objectives for the region.
“ TCN is supporting not only the network expansion programme but also institutional reform aimed at repositioning WAPP for its role in the region,’’ he said.
Mr Mohammed said the Ikeja West 330kv transmission reinforcement project would be completed by 2021.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Loius Edozie, said Ikeja West 330kv project was in line with Federal Government’s commitment to developing the electricity market in Nigeria and other countries in West Africa.
He said TCN’s achievements on network, frequency stability and the development of the West African Power Pool were all critical issues.
Mr Edozie said given the development in the power sector, Nigeria was disposed to wheeling more electricity to its international customers.
He, however, said that the primary obligation was to serve Nigerians first.
The permanent secretary said it was necessary that all outstanding bills were paid immediately and payment mechanism put in place to ensure bills were paid as and when due.
He said that there was also the need to for the Distribution Companies, DISCOs, to improve their investment in order to supply more electricity to Nigerians.
“Generally, as DISCOs are making efforts to expand, TCN and Generation Companies, GenCos, are also expanding to stay ahead of the requirement,” he added.
Mr Edozie said for the power supply chain to be sustained, the trading arrangement must be respected and adhered to.
“For TCN, the only way it can continue to stay ahead financially is that the trading arrangements are viable.
“So if WAPP and TCN builds the 2nd Ikeja West 330kv DC and other WAPP back bones, they must be paid for wheeling the power promptly,“ he said.
He expressed optimism that the meeting with TCN and WAPP would intensify government’s commitment to further developing the electricity market in Nigeria and West Africa.
The Secretary-General of WAPP, Mr Slengui Ki, thanked the Federal Government and the Ministry of Power for its efforts to construct Ikeja West 330kv West African Power transmission line.
He said that the completion and the interconnection of the line from Nigeria to Benin would provide more economic opportunities in the region.