The Interim Managing Director of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Mr Usman Gur Mohammed said the firm targets 20,000 megawatts (mw) transmission capacity in the next three years, reports Daily Trust.
Mr Mohammed gave the hint in Abuja yesterday during a kick-off meeting of an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) Study to build the second 330 kilovolt (kv) transmission line from Ikeja West in Lagos to Sakete in Benin Republic.
The TCN boss who is also Chairman of WAPP said, “The second 330kv Ikeja West transmission line to Sakete in Benin Republic is necessary as the first could soon be constrained by the demand for more power from the Nigerian grid increase.”
The WAPP project will have the ESIA study conducted in six months, construction will take another 24 months and should be ready by 2021, Mohammed said.
On the giant strides at TCN, he said transmission is no longer the weakest link in the sector’s value chain as TCN now has a robust rehabilitation and expansion plan that has been endorsed by the Ministries of Power and Finance and international donors.
He said, “TCN is no longer the weakest link in the power value chain as it is fast tracking the implementation of many power projects. The transmission rehabilitation and expansion programme seeks to expand the grid to about 20,000mw in the next three years.”
In his address, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing (Power), Engr. Louis Edozien said “The ministry’s primary responsibility is to satisfy the electricity needs of Nigerians. We are committed to integrating the international electricity market but our primary responsibility is to satisfy Nigerians. Currently Nigerians are not satisfied.”
He urged the Community Electric du Benin (CEB), the power firm of Benin Republic to immediately settle accumulated electricity debts. “I use this platform to emphasise to CEB that the electricity debts that have accumulated needs to be settled quickly. It helps us explain to Nigerians why we should expand the supply by doing this kind of project,” Edozien said.
He said the generation Companies (GenCos) now have 7,000mw capacity but the Distribution Companies (DisCos) are doing around 4,600 capacity, and with projected rise in generation, the GenCos can export the surplus electricity generated through WAPP to neighbouring countries that need the energy.
Director General of CEB, Dr Karimou Chabi Sika lauded the project saying it provides an opportunity to sustain the West African nation system. Dr Sika also said the project on completion will ensure adequate power supply to the people of Benin Republic.