16 November 2012

Nigeria: FG Seeks Solution to Frequent Grid Collapse

The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Power (PTFP), Engr. BeksDagogo-Jack, has tasked regional and top management of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to seek ways of addressing the rise in frequency of power grid collapses.

According to Dagogo-Jack, the move became necessary in order to ensure that the December 2012 target of 5,000 Mega Watts (MW) of power supply to the grid was achieved.

The PTFP chairman who gave the directive at a meeting with the TCN management team and the technical heads of the task force to review the sudden rise in grid collapses, however, informed that the federal government has provided sufficient funding in the 2013 budget for the procurement of major spare parts for rehabilitation and upgrading of the protection and relay systems for better grid reliability.

He also disclosed that adequate funding have been provided for in the 2013 budget for outsourced regular mechanised clearing and maintenance of the transmission right of way by reputable civil engineering companies with the required equipment and experience.

He added that "the executive director, system operations, has been directed to conclude talks on integrating some of the recently completed National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) plants into the spinning reserve and frequency control programme to shore up the daily reserve especially as the profile of available but undelivered power is rising.

"The government shall, through the completion of the on-going NIPP transmission projects, compliment other on-going TCN projects to significantly improve the wheeling capacity, effectiveness and reliability of the national power grid."

Meanwhile, the gross absence of capacity redundancy and the largely radial single-circuited structure of the grid were identified as a major cause of frequent collapse, while government was advised to embark on an aggressive dualisation and effective looping of the countries' major national power trunk lines.

Also, the grossly insufficient spinning reserve cum frequency control and system black start capability were also listed among factors responsible for frequent grid collapse even as vandalism and suspected cases of businesses threatened by the improved power supply colluding with criminals to cause forced outages, was also identified.

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