Abuja — The federal government on Tuesday took delivery of a new strategy document - the 20-year Transmission Expansion Master Plan, developed with funding from the World Bank by a German-based power consultancy firm, Fitchner GmbH, and with which the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) would use to continue its expansion works on Nigeria's transmission network.
The master plan was handed over to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, at a ceremony in Abuja by the Interim Managing Director of the TCN, Mr. Usman Mohammed, after Fitchner signed off on it.
It reportedly cost the World Bank about $2million to execute, and was conceived in 2009 after a national load demand study was done by another power consultancy firm, Tractebel of Belgium.
With it, Fashola, said the TCN would be expected to continue to improve its capacity to wheel out generated electricity in the country.
He also said that at the moment, the transmission capacity of the TCN had grown to 7125 megawatts (MW), and that cases of stranded power would be dealt with by the new plan.
The minister noted that future electricity generation capacities like the 3050MW Mambilla hydro power plant and others were factored into the plan which he added equally recommended that Nigeria was better served by its existing 330 kilovolt (kV) transmission lines.
He said: "The government has given the TCN a mandate to improve its capacity to deliver its responsibilities to the Gencos and Discos. That mandate has not stood alone, it has been followed by policy approvals, and it has been supported by a budgetary commitment.
"That budgetary support has been helpful. As at yesterday, with that budget, we have been able to recover 502 containers belonging to the TCN, containing equipment for transmission expansion projects that were left at our ports."
"Those containers have travelled to their various intended destinations - TCN's sites and substations, where work has resumed. Most of the TCN sites are now busy and some have been completed. So, that story of yesterday that TCN can only wheel 5000MW is not true because as at December when we did TCN's simulated capacity, it was 7125MW and it is growing because works haven't stopped," he explained.
On the masterplan, he stated: "The real story why we are here today is that there is now a plan to address how TCN progresses. We gather to receive a 20-year transmission expansion masterplan and we do it with all our stakeholders.
"You have heard very detailed analysis of how this plan will become reality and even Mambilla which construction has not started is factored in the plan, and presentations about what each Disco would do, how the plans of the Gencos would affect what we want to do."
The minister added: "This is the result of very rigorous thinking, planning and projection, and I want to thank the interim managing director of the TCN and his team."
Similarly, Mohammed, stated that the masterplan was the basis on which TCN's Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Plan (TREP) was developed with supports from donor agencies like the World Bank and Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
In their presentation of the plan, the Fitchner team led by Dr. Oprea Liliana, a power systems operations expert, explained that while Nigeria's power generation grew by 6.3 per cent in the last 40 years, it was expecting demand for and generation of power to hit 28,000MW by 2035.
It said in 2020, 2025, and 2030, Nigeria should be generating 10,000MW, 15,000MW, and 23,000MW respectively. Out of this, it noted that 387MW, 1540MW, 1830MW, and 2000MW would be sent to service consumers in the West African Power Pool (WAPP) between 2020, 2025, 2030, and 2035 respectively.
It also made recommendations on what should be done across the power value chain to keep the plan in progress and effective, adding that on the average, Nigeria should be adding 1500MW of electricity generation capacity to its grid annually, while expansions in gas supply and distribution infrastructure should be in consonance.