TCN expanding transmission infrastructure through massive investment – MD

Managing Director Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, Mr Usman Gur Mohammed

The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), says it is expanding the nation’s electricity transmission infrastructure through massive investment that would stabilise the grid for optimum performance.

The company’s Managing Director, Usman Mohammed disclosed this on Friday in Abuja at the company’s meeting with donors and stakeholders.

Usman explained that it was to achieve a robust national grid that TCN established the Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme (TREP), in 2017.

“TREP is expected to rehabilitate and expand the capacity of the transmission grid to 20,000 megawatts in 2022.

“To achieve the development objective of TREP, TCN is successfully implementing a four-point strategy which include system frequency control, procurement of adequate spinning reserve, provision of functional Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), and Critical Investment in Lines and Sub Stations.

“TCN is rehabilitating and expanding the transmission lines and substations across the country, consistent with N-1 reliability criteria in line with international best standards.

“TCN is also using in-house capacity to install abandoned transformers and other equipment, string transmission lines and also assist contractors complete various uncompleted projects.

“The use of in-house engineers to complete projects has assisted greatly in completing several projects across the country. It has also assisted in resolving budget overrun which previously characterised TCN project implementation,” he said.

According to Usman, TCN has a lot of support from donors.

“We have raised the highest donor-funded money in the history of Nigeria. We have 1.661 billion dollars under which we are expanding the grid.

“Of the 1.661 billion dollars, there is not a kobo that has been disbursed apart from the Abuja Wheeling Scheme where TCN has effected advance payment on the 155 million dollars project.

“TCN management has started providing complete and effective oversight and supervisory control over all donor-funded projects and this has significantly improved the pace of implementation.

“This meeting is for TCN to give a breakdown of its achievement with the funds and to seek the donor’s guidance on implementation,” he said.

Usman said that all the investments in transmission infrastructure would hopefully translate to sustainable electricity power, adding that the country needed the same level of investment in the distribution network to be able to optimise the use of power.

“This is why we have consistently been calling for the re-capitalisation of the Distribution Companies (DisCos). We want them to have the same type of investment and expand the distribution network and make it reliable so that they can supply Nigerians with electricity,” he said.

On his part, Director General, Bureau of Public Procurement (BPE), Mr Alex Okoh, harped on the need for synergy among players in the power sector.

Okoh said that there was need for industry players to come together, recognise the gap and find solution to the problem of the power sector.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Mr Louis Edozien, commended the donors for assisting the country in its quest to ensure that Nigerians enjoyed stable power supply.

Represented by the Director of Transmission, Mr Emmanuel Anosike, Edozien commended TCN for a job well done, urging the outfit to maintain the good work.

A representative of the World Bank, Mr Muhammed Wakil, an Energy Specialist, said that the bank had a successful relationship with TCN and recently closed a 300-million-dollar power project in 2018

Wakil said that the World Bank had also begun a new project worth 486 million dollars.

“There has been a significant improvement in the performance of TCN and we see that they are very ambitious and driven to achieve all their projects.

“We shall only like to encourage them to have better coordination with the Discos so that the investments that are being done will actually connect to the distribution companies and result in improved power to Nigerians,” he said. (NAN)

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