Nigeria targets 20,000MW in four years with $1.57bn multilateral funding
London, August 28, 2018 (AltAfrica)-Nigeria’s current epileptic power supply will soon be a forgotten nightmare if plans by the government is fully and successfully implemented.
The government is targeting an ambitious 20,000MW of power in the next four years. It hopes to do this through a $1.57bn (about N567.3 billion) multilateral funding already secured to raise grid capacity
This disclosure came from Mr Usman Gur Mohammed, the Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) who also doubles as the Chairman, West African Power Pool’s (WAPP) Executive Board in an interview with Daily Trust
“We have raised enough money ($1.57bn – N567.3 billion) to expand the grid to 20,000MW by 2021. We have also gotten programmes to enable us attract the best companies that will implement our projects. We are on track and TCN staff are highly motivated to do this job.”
Usman said the money would be entirely devoted to the new ambitious target. “We have raised $1.57bn from donors but that money is not flexible as it cannot finance a contract that somebody has awarded in the past. We looked at what we can do differently and we discovered that many contracts can be done by TCN engineers. The best and hardworking staff in Nigeria are in TCN. There are still some bad eggs spoilt by Manitoba Hydro, but majority are good engineers”
On why the critical sector is still comatosed, the Utility boss said a similar project in the past was poorly conceived and implemented. “Nigeria has failed attempts to have a functional SCADA three times. The last one was between 2006 and 2007, I was in the Project Management Unit (PMU) of TCN when the World Bank financed it and Nigeria spent about $46 million.
“But the SCADA that was completed had significant deficiencies that it cannot see more than 40 per cent of the network. As part of this programme, we established a review committee and held a conference in Abuja. The finding showed that we cannot start the procurement of the SCADA until we fix our communication backbone.We also need to have critical investments in lines and substations and put N-1 which means having extra capacity to take in emergency”
All, he said would be addressed by the new fund.
Asked about the the countroversy between Discos and TCN in relations to the N72 billion fund to improve distribution networks, Usman said “It is not the DisCos that say they don’t know about it. It is their association and we don’t deal with them because we have no agreement with them. The investment is an intervention by the Federal Government because of the failure of the DisCos to perform which is creating problems in the system.
“Government has 40 per cent share in the DisCos and the modality for repayment, whether as loans of shares for government, has not been concluded. But N72bn is small money compared with the investment needs of the DisCos. When we did the investment requirement for TREP, we simulated that of the DisCos to be able to pick more load and they require over $4 billion investment for their injection substations. However, we are working with all the DisCos where the project is situated because they know their networks.”
The TCN boss also spoke about efforts being made to improve and stabilise power supply in Nigeria. “We established the Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme (TREP). That programme contained four things that will stabilise and make the grid a modern one.
“The first is about achieving frequency control. Since June 2017, we have achieved frequency control of 49.5 Hertz (Hz) and 50.5Hz. This has not been achieved in the history of Nigeria; in the last 20.
“The second is spinning reserve. The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) approved a competitive procurement of spinning reserve and we have advertised the procurement of 300 megawatts (MW) of spinning reserve. The ultimate should be 450MW; when we get 300MW, we will now increase it by another 150MW.”