The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has signed a $170 million (about N62 billion) contract to build four transmission substations in Abuja under the Abuja Transmission Project being financed by Agence Française de Développement (AFD).
The managing director, Mr Usman Gur Mohammed, who disclosed this at a briefing last weekend in Abuja, said “when we signed the contract, each of them said they could deliver in 18 months. GE whom we signed contract with today (Friday) said by Monday, they would want to flag off the process. If we complete this project, Abuja will have stable electricity.”
Mr Mohammed said TCN also saved $25 million (about N9.1bn) during the procurement process by using global best practice and engaging world class Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractors like General Electric (GE). He said the $25m will be used to build a 330KV transmission substation in Bauchi.
Daily Trust learnt that General Electric will handle the 330KV substation in Lugbe and Apo under the Abuja Transmission Project and was ready to commence work on the identified site immediately the contracts were signed last Friday. Mohammed said the project will boost all-round electricity supply in Abuja, the nation’s capital, when completed within the 18 months project delivery timeline that the contractors have given.
To stabilise electricity transmission frequency, Mohammed said TCN awaits approval from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to award procurement contract to the successful Generation Companies (GenCos) to deliver 260 megawatts (MW) spinning reserve. He said, “two weeks ago, we commenced the implementation for us to move from 49.5 and 50.5 Hertz (Hz) to 49.75 and 50.25Hz which is the NERC standard. Since two weeks, the frequency is more stable than in the past.
“Today we signed letters for GenCos who are not on frequency control (free governor) to comply. It is the last ultimatum, otherwise we are going to remove them from the grid.”
On the part of the Distribution Companies (DisCos), the TCN head urged them to invest in injection substations and their networks to take the available transmitted power saying, out of the 738 interface (TCN substations), the DisCos connected to 307 substations without any injection substations or protection while exposing the TCN transformers to potential disaster.
“If there is any fault from the DisCos’ networks, it will hit our transformers directly.
“The investment we are making in transmission cannot be fully harnessed if there is no commensurate investment in the distribution networks, that is why TCN is asking for recapitalization of the DisCos. This is because Nigerians will never have electricity if the DisCos don’t invest in their networks,” Mohammed explained.