The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) on Tuesday said its network development will not wait for the recapitalisation of the Distribution Companies of Nigeria (DisCos), because it takes a shorter time to fix distribution infrastructure.
Its Managing Director, Usman Gur Mohammed, who spoke in Abuja, said most of the DisCos equipment are manufactured locally but that of transmission takes a longer time and require a larger right of way (RoW).
He said TCN will continue to expand its network, saying consumers will not enjoy electricity supply unless the DisCos complement its efforts by fixing their equipment.
He said: “Of course, if you look at the current situation, transmission will continue to expand and will not wait for the DisCos because transmission infrastructure is more difficult and expensive to build and takes longer time than DisCos infrastructure.
“Many of the equipment used by Distribution are manufactured in Nigeria, but most transmission equipment are manufactured outside Nigeria and transmission infrastructures require bigger Right of Way (RoW) and that is very expensive.
“We look at transmission as an enabler, and so anytime government takes a decision or distribution investors become serious, they can fix the DisCos. Nigerians will not get the benefit of transmission grid expansion if the DisCos are not fixed.”
Meanwhile, TCN said it has completed the installation of yet another power transformer in its Asaba Transmission sub-station, Delta State.
Its General Manager (Public Affairs), Mr. Ndidi Mbah, recalled that the company on January 12, 2020, dropped the hint that this will be the first time TCN has installed and energized a 300MVA 330/132/33Kv capacity power transformer in-house although its in-house engineers installed a greater number of the 68 power transformers added to the grid between February 2017 and December 2019.
The new transformer in Asaba, according to the statement, replaces a disused 150MVA 330/132/33Kv Siemans transformer commissioned by NIPP on February 15, 2015.
It added that the old Siemans brand transformer tripped on two occasions necessitating the invitation of experts on two occasions to effect repairs.
Mohammed said the network is connected to the DisCos and so protection is important.
According to him, out of the 738 interface connections TCN has with the DisCos, only 421 have protection on their side.
The remaining 317 have no protection. This means that fault in people’s house can easily hit TCN transformers and spoil it, he said.
He said: “The the problem is how do you enforce mandatory building of injection substations when the DisCos don’t have money? So we need to re-capitalise the DisCos so that they will have funds to fix their network and provide meters that would reduce their aggregate commercial loss.’’
“The industry can only work well when all the players are working. Capitalization will lead to a situation where we have stronger companies with better management.”
On expectation from the West African Power Pool (WAAP) in 2020, he noted that at this stage, bilateral contract has to continue; allow people that generate electricity in Nigeria to sell to energy users in other countries in West Africa.
He insisted that from the position of WAPP, we are going to be pushing for the implementation of sustainable electricity market for WAPP, we are also going to push for the next stage of WAPP Electricity Market, which is a full liberalisation of the electricity market in West Africa.
TCN said before the new 300MVA power transformer was installed, it temporarily fed the Asaba transmission sub-station through the Onitsha-Asaba 330Kv transmission lines connected to the Onitsha-GCM 132/33Kv transmission line. This caused restricted maximum load transmission Onitsha-Asaba transmission line.
The statement also noted that the commissioning of the 300MVA power transformer now makes available 240mw bulk electricity in Asaba Transmission Station.
This would enable Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) distribute stable electricity to its customers in Asaba Metropolis, Ogwashiukwu, Ibuzor, Agbor and other towns in Delta North Senatorial Zone. TCN also has plans in place to utilise the extra plinth for an additional 150MVA power transformer in the substation to implement its plans to further expand the capacity of the substation in line with its Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme (TREP).
The increase in the power capacity in Asaba transmission substation by the TCN is in line with its resolve to implement the incremental power policy of the Federal Government by consistently investing in capacity expansion initiatives.