Abuja — The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has secured close to $2billion for the rehabilitation of national grid infrastructure and expansion of its transmission capacities up to 20,000 megawatts target within the next three years.
Before now, some of the transmission facilities are outdated, or inadequate and too weak to evacuate power generated by the Generation Companies (GenCos) thereby limiting the GenCos from achieving its optimum capacities.
The Managing Director, TCN, Usman Gur Mohammed, made these disclosures at the just concluded power sector stakeholders meeting presided by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, in Kano.
He spoke while fielding questions from journalists on the challenges and programmes of the company towards achieving sustainable power supply throughout Nigeria.
He noted that because of the liquidity issue in the power sector, the TCN had sought the support of the ministries of Finance, and Power, which led to the raising of the fund from multilateral donors for the expansion of the grid.
He said the fund was raised from the World Bank, African Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, Japanese Agency for International Cooperation (JAICA), and the European Union.
He said: "Last week, we advertised for transformer capacities for Kano, Kaduna, Lagos, and Shiroro regions. These are part of the projects we have been able to raise from the multilateral regions, and the total capacity we are working towards achieving is 20,000 megawatts in the next three years.
"We have also restarted some projects that had not been doing well like the Abuja Transmission Ring Project, which is supposed to put three substations within the capital territory, and provide another avenue for supply from Lafia.
"We have also resuscitated the JAICA project that had been on the drawing board for a long time. Those two projects plus the project that we are going to raise now is about $1.55billion."
He decried that in the efforts to expand transmission capacities, the company is confronted with right of way issues, and is collaborating with state governors including Kano, Kaduna, Edo, Abia, Imo, Ogun, and Lagos to pay compensations and resolve the problems.
"We discovered that right of way is a big problem in Nigeria, and actually it is a national issue. In trying to expand the capacity of transmission, we started collaborating with the states in every area that we are putting significant capacity.
"As part of these projects and investments, we have raised to expand the transmission lines from Shiroro to Kaduna, and from Kaduna to Kano. We are putting a cord line that will carry 2,400MW capacity. We have never had that kind of capacity in Nigeria," Mohammed said.
Currently, he said the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasiru El-Rufai, who is giving significant support, is even the one paying compensations for some of the places where TCN is putting some substations at 330 in Kaduna and Zaria, and three 133 substations in Kaduna.
On rejection of loads by distribution companies (DisCos), he said efforts are on to address the lack of capacity to carry the loads. In this regard, he said TCN had appointed interface focal persons for each of the DisCos whose job is to ensure that information about where it has load rejection is disclosed, and the capacity reset to other areas where they want it.
He said the nation currently has stranded load generation of about 2,000MW, which is not healthy for the development of the sector, because as time goes on and if TCN cannot pick those generations, it will hinder investments on the generation system.