The Federal Government has unveiled its five-year plan to boost power transmission capacity from 5,500Megawatts (Mw) to 10,000Mw in the next three years.
The plan was meant to take off last year with specific milestones each year but the impact of the low oil price slowed down the action. However, a source told The Nation that the government said it was going ahead with implementation of the plan.
The plan targets transmission capacity of 8,200Mw by 2018 and 10,000Mw by 2019. The transmission arm of the power supply value chain has been tagged the weakest link of the chain by operators. If the targets of the plan work were achieved, it would boost stable electricity supply, the source said.
“The government has undertaken to complete all suspended and abandoned transmission projects. Currently, 59 expansion projects are being worked on with the aim of wheeling 10,000Mw by 2019. Also all the transmission projects under the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) are being completed. With the ongoing projects, the government certainly will be able to achieve the 1000Mw expected by 2019.
“However, the government should ensure not just expansion but flexible transmission system. This can be achieved through breaking up the grid into regional networks. Interconnection between the regional networks will be done to guarantee the required flexibility. Also there is need for the dualisation of congested transmission networks to create relief.
“The implementation of (Super Grid) concept (a 745kv) networks being considered by the government is imperative as it would improve the efficiency of the network,” the source added.
Data from the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) show that national peak demand forecast is 17,720Mw while operators of the electricity distribution companies said it is 20,000Mw, reflecting a deficit of more 14,000Mw.
According to the data, the average daily power output this year was 3667.95Mw, which was achieved in January. This level dropped abysmally at the peak of the renewed attacks by the Niger Delta militants. Average daily generation averaged in May and June were 1791.49Mw and 1307.81Mw.
The TCN’s data showed that the nation has installed transmission capacity of 11,165.40Mw, but available capacity is 7,139.60Mw, while the network operational capability is 5,500Mw.