ChinemeOkafor in Abuja
The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has begun to reduce the costs of procuring and implementing transmission projects across the country by significantly using its in-house capacity in engineering and procurement processes, its interim Managing Director, Mr. Usman Mohammed has disclosed.
Mohammed also stated that the TCN has been able to stabilise the transmission grid to bring down the frequency of system collapses in the country from eight in February to about two in September.
He explained that the TCN has also improved on its project management capacities, which he noted was part of the challenges it had in attracting funding from multilateral donor agencies like the World Bank and African Development Bank (AfDB).
“As we speak to you now, we are also reducing cost. TCN engineers are installing more than 30 transformers simultaneously all over the country at a price that is lower than what we used to pay contractors and that has brought us to where we are now. We can boast of a capacity of 7000 megawatts,” said Mohammed at a recent meeting in Abuja,” he said.
He further explained: “We are able to stabilise the frequency in the last few months, from May 22 to date, we stabilised the frequency to the extent that we put frequency to about 49.5 and 50.5 hertz. That is something that has not happened in the last 20 years in the history of Nigeria and to the extent that the West African Power Pool is now synchronising our power.
“We had eight system collapses in February when I came in. In the second quarter which started from April to June, we had five collapses, meaning we reduced it from eight to five. Then the last quarter which is from July to September, we had two system collapses,” he added.
On project management, he said: “One of the things we discovered in TCN and there was a studies that suggested that TCN capacity to implement projects was not more than $100 million and this is one the World Bank reports. Now, if the organisation can only do $100 million project, that means it can never expand its grid. So, what we did was to mirror and look at what was the reason for the limitation.”
“We came out with some findings, and there was insufficient management oversight of TCN over multilateral donor. They say the World Bank and AfDB was managing them through their side, and so nobody cared, meaning the management of TCN do not provide the necessary oversight to see what was happening there. We are now providing the necessary oversight,” he added.