Signaling a determined shift towards a robust transmission grid, devoid of incessant system collapse in Nigeria, the management of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) said that plans are in place, to increase its wheeling capacity to 20,000 Mega Watts in the next 4 years, to adequately take care of anticipated growth in generation capability in the country.
The Interim Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of TCN, Mr. Usman Gur Mohammed, gave this indication during a panel discussion with the sub theme: The Evolution of Nigeria’s Energy Roadmap” at the recently held Annual Powering Africa Conference, organized by Energy Net in Abuja.
Discussants include the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Power, Hon. Daniel Asuquo, Director, Post Privatization Monitoring, Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Yunana Jackdell Malo, Principal Investment Officer, International Finance Corporation, Mr. Femi Akinrebiyi, and Mr. Kweku Awotwi, Principal, Africa Power System Management.
Speaking, Mr. Mohammed detailed plans by TCN to ensure proper tariff structure for spinning reserve to encourage generation companies maintain the reserve, necessary for grid stability. He noted that TCN had submitted proposal to Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) for proper tariff and adequate compensation to Generation Companies (GENCOs) contracted to provide the service. Approval he said will put in place, adequate spinning reserve that will avert a total collapse of the transmission grid.
Mr. Mohammed also informed the forum that TCN has raised the sum of $1.55billion from multi-lateral donor agencies for the purpose of building capacity in line with its planned Transmission, Rehabilitation and Expansion Program. He noted that the issue of liquidity is a major problem in the power sector. According to him, “What TCN is getting from the market is 40%, and that’s barely good enough for it to pay salary and maintain its operation, so if we need to raise money to expand the grid, there is no other option than to go for multi-lateral donors”.
According to him, for the first time in Nigeria, TCN would put in place Cord transmission lines in specific line routes such as from Shiroro to kaduna. The cord line can carry a maximum of 2400MW.
Mr. Mohammed noted that TCN can presently boast of 7,000 MW wheeling capacity and that its engineers are presently installing more than 10 transformers simultaneously, in different states of the Federation.
This year Annual Powering Africa conference drew participants in the power sector including potential investors, from within and outside Nigeria and focused on moving power projects forward by openly addressing investor confidence, bottlenecks and fluidity in the Nigerian energy market.
By Eric Ephraim Ene