By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA – The Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, has secured $1.55billion from multilateral donors to revive some projects and expand the grid, its Interim Managing Director, Usman Gur Mohammed has disclosed.
Mohammed who made the disclosure while speaking with newsmen during the 18th Monthly Power Sector and Stakeholder meeting in Kumboso, Kano State explained that the intervention came from the World Bank, African Development Bank, IslamicDevelopment Bank, European Union and JAICA.
According to him, “The strategy is that we have approached the multilateral donors and we have been able to raise some significant money.
We have also resuscitated some project that has not been doing well, like the Abuja transmission project which is supposed to provide three sub- stations and provide another avenue for supply through Abuja from Lafia.
“We have also resuscitated the JAICA project that has been on the drawing board for a long some time now, those two projects, plus the projects
is about 1.55 billion dollars which is coming from the world bank , the African Development Bank the Islamic Development Bank, JAICA itself, and the European union is also giving us a grant.”
Mohammed recalled that when he assumed office he discovered that TCN capacity to wheel power is actually higher than the capacity that the Distribution Companies, DISCOs.
According to him, there was need for grid expansion and cash paucity, which made it expedient that the TCN had to seek the support of the Federal Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Power to raise money from donor agencies.
He revealed that “we have a stranded load generation of about 2,000 mega watts, this is not healthy for the development of the sector, as time goes on if we can’t pick those generation it means that we are going to kill investment in the generation section.
“On growing the load and avoid load rejection, we are working with Discos to see how to improve their capacity and we have appointed, Interface focal officers to help the DISCOs pick more load.”
The TCN boss explained further that the company last week advertised transformer capacity for Kano, Kaduna, Lagos and Shiroro region. He said that TCN is now working towards realizing 20,000 megawatts of transmission capacity in the next few years.
Mohammed pointed out that right of way has become a crucial challenge in the power sector which has resulted in a study by the West African Power Pool on the line from the Birnin- Kebbi boarder of Nigeria from.
He pointed out that since the payment of compensation for right of ways Nigeria has become a crucial problem, the TCN has started collaborating with State governments. Continuing, he said that: “We are collaborating with states in every areas that we are putting a significant transmission capacity.
We are working to expand the lines from Shiroro to Kaduna, and from Kaduna to Kano, and we are putting a code line that will carry 2,400MW capacity, we have never had that kind of line in Nigeria.
“But we need to collaborate with sates and we have stated with Kaduna, the governor of Kaduna is the one that is even paying the compensation for some of the places where we are putting sub –stations in Kaduna.
“The Governor of Kano State, according to him, is also supporting TCN on the right of ways between Kano and Kaduna border.”
The company, he added, is also working with the governors of Abia, Lagos, Imo and Ogun states to enhance transmission capacity.