TCN confirms plan to export unutilised power to West African neighbours

ACTING Managing director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and Chairman of Executive Board of West African Power Pool (WAPP) Sule Abdulaziz has disclosed that unused electricity within the country will be taken to West African participating countries through the Northcore Power Transmission Line.

The Northcore Power Transmission line comprises West African countries of Togo, Burkina Faso and the Niger Republic.

He confirmed at the just-concluded meeting of the group in Abuja on Saturday that the governments of the aforementioned countries had had final touches on the execution of a planned $570million final transmission line running across the four countries.

He noted that the concerns raised over Nigeria selling its generated power to other countries when it did not have enough did not arise, stressing that unutilised power generated daily would be exported to avoid waste.

“The project takes approximately two years to be completed, with funding from international financial organisations in collaboration with participating countries, which will be disbursed after the contracts signing ceremony,” he said.

“The power we will be selling is the power that is not needed in Nigeria. The generators that are going to supply power to this transmission line are going to generate that power specifically for this project. So it is unutilised power.”

He explained that Nigeria was expecting new generators to participate in the energy export for the 875km 330kv transmission line from Nigeria through the three other countries, adding that jobs would be created while the country would earn foreign exchange.

In his remarks, Secretary-General of WAPP Appolinaire Ki said that when the facility became operational, there would be continuous feedstock, assuring that the funding agreements were ready as participating countries awaited the disbursement.

The secretary-general noted that the cost was approximately $570 million and part of the investment in each country was funded by respective countries who were supported by the donors.

Nigeria has a large quantity of unutilised generated power which analysts attribute to insufficient infrastructure in the power value chain.






     

     

    For instance, Nigeria’s power distribution companies reject transmitted power from generation firms, mostly on the ground of insufficient infrastructure, thereby resorting mostly to load shedding. The rejection of transmitted power has been the bane of the country’s recurring grid collapse, a situation analysts say could be averted with proper unbundling of the transmission company.

    Nigeria has the potential to generate 12,522 megawatts of electric power from existing plants. On most days, however, it is only able to dispatch around 4,000 megawatts which are insufficient for a country with a population size of over 200 million.

    Analysts insist that it is not wrong to export unutilised power to neighbours since it will reduce tariffs to Nigeria and provide capital for investments in gas.

    “Trade is not always about surplus, but benefits, especially in the short to medium term. Selling power to WAPP could help reduce tariffs to Nigeria and at the same time provide capital for more investments in gas production and power generation,” a former Managing Director of Nigeria Bulk Electricity Company  (NBET) Rumundaka Wonodi said.

     

     

    Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.

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