By Prince Okafor
The nation’s epileptic power situation is set to worsen as Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, recorded six systems collapses in January 2018.
The development culminated in the damage of nine vital components, which Vanguard learned, will cost the company N3.85 billion to procure relevant equipment and rehabilitate within nine months.
Investigation by Vanguard showed that the equipment include 1x150mva, 330/132kv T1A Mitsubishi power transformer in Jos, which was completely burnt, and will take N850 million to replace.
Another major burnt equipment was the 1x30mva, 330/33kv T2 Toshiba transformer at Gusau substation, which would require N300 million for a total replacement.
Other damaged equipment include: 1x100mva, 330/33kv SPECO power transformer at Ejigbo substation, 1x60mva, 132/33kv ABB power transformer at Katampe substation, 1x60mva, 132/33kv power transformer at Aja substation, 1x60mva, 132/33kv power transformer at Benin substation, and a 1x60mva, 132/33kv power transformer at Okene substation, were completely lost.
The facilities, it was gathered, will cost the company about N500 million each to replace.
It was gathered that TCN might have lost many other equipment, including switch gears, breakers and isolators within the period, especially as some communities kept sealed lips so as not to be accused of vandalism or sabotage.
An authoritative source in the sector attributed the development, partly to irregular monitoring and maintenance nationwide, adding that TCN needed highly technical personnel, preferably an electrical engineer, as managing director.
Mr. Usman Gur Mohammed, the current Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of TCN, holds a BSc. in Accountancy from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and an MSC in Business Administration (Management) from the Bayero University, Kano.
But the spokesperson of the company, Mrs. Ndidi Mbah argued: ‘’The best thing that happened to Nigeria’s power sector was the appointment of the current Interim MD of TCN. He installed more than 12 transformers between May and December 2017, using in-house capacity, each at a cost that is less than 10% of what the previous management use to spend on bogus contracts to install such transformers. In January 2018 he started building substations using in House capacity.
‘’He established Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Program (TREP) that has attracted $1.5 billion from several donors. TCN had never attracted more than $200 Million in one year in its history. TREP seeks to expand the grid to at least 20,000MW in four years and will put N-1 capacity all over Nigeria.
‘’He resolved several transmission lines constraints that had lingered between 3-4 years; these includes Jebba-Kainji, Asaba-Benin, Ajaokuta-Abuja, Egbin-Aja and turn in turn out for the evacuation of Azura IPP. He completed several contracts that had been endless in the past; Kukuaba, Daura-Katsina, Odogunyon etc.’’
World Bank $486m NETAP loan
Meanwhile, the World Bank has announced a $486 million International Development Association, IDA, credit to support the rehabilitation and upgrade of Nigeria’s electricity transmission substations and lines.
The $486 Million Nigeria Electricity Transmission Access Project (NETAP) to be financed by the World Bank is part of the Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Program (TREP) launched by the Transmission Company of Nigeria early last year.
The spokesperson of the World Bank in Nigeria, Olufunke Olufon, said the approved credit would help increase the power transmission network and enable electricity distribution companies supply consumers with additional power.