Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) On Monday said the extent of works it is doing to improve the quality and quantity of electricity available to power homes and offices that are connected to the national grid are still being limited by the inability of the 11 electricity distribution companies (Discos) to invest in upgrading their distribution networks.
TCN explained in a statement from its General Manager, Mrs. Ndidi Mbah, in Abuja, that it knows locations of its networks with operational shortfalls, and was working to rectify them, but that at the moment, the Discos were not taking as much electricity as they should.
It however added that until the deficiencies in the distribution networks are fixed by the Discos, Nigerians may not fully enjoy the benefits of the ongoing expansion of its transmission network.
According to it, a couple of its transmission assets comprising of high voltage power transformers had been completed and energised last week in the Lagos, Katsina, Calabar and Enugu areas, with some more expected to be completed within the next couple of days in Abuja, Akwa Ibom, and Kaduna.
“Although, the Nigeria electricity industry is still facing liquidity problem, the only way that TCN’s rehabilitation and expansion programme can give maximum benefit to the nation is if a commensurate investment is done on the various distribution networks nationwide.
“Presently, inadequacies in the distribution networks are limiting the amount of power delivered to end-users on daily basis. This problem is pronounced anytime there is heavy rainfall. This calls for significant investments in the distribution network,” said the TCN in the statement.
It added: “The incident of Thursday 22nd at Lokoja substation was caused by the weak distribution network that dropped significant load due to heavy rainfall which caused high voltage that shattered lighting arrestor that punctured the cooling fan of the 150MVA transformer and more than 10 drums of transformer oil gushed out. TCN stand by its press release on this issue last week.”
“TCN is aware of locations in its network where improvement is still required and assured that they are being addressed through various installations. It is equally looking forward to working in harmony with other sector players to ensure Nigerians derive maximum benefit from these investments in its network,” it stated.
On the new transmission facilities that it said have been installed and energised, the statement explained that it completed the installation of 1X60MWA power transformer in Katsina substation, 1X100MVA transformer in Ejigbo substation and 2X60MVA in Odogunyan substation both in Lagos, 1X60MVA transformer in Old Abeokuta substation, as well as 1X60MVA transformer in Calabar substation.
“TCN has also energised the 5 kilometres transmission line built with the collaboration of Enugu state government to power the 1X30MVA Nsukka substation. TCN wish to commend the effort of the Governor of Enugu state for the collaboration that enabled the completion of the line.
“The transformers have been energised and supplying various communities where they are located. They add to the several transformers, substations and transmission lines completed across the country either by TCN in-house engineers or by contractors and are ready for the official commissioning by the Minister of Power Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola,” it noted.
It further said that with this developmet, the power supply rationing recently experienced by customers of Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company around Ejigbo when the old 1X30MVA was removed to pave way for the installation of the new 1x100MVA is expected to stop.
It added that installation of another 1X100MVA to replace the second 1X30MVA in the same substation has also commenced, and that its completion would further boost transmission capacity in that axis.
“The installation of the 1X60MVA transformer at Karu substation, in Abuja has been completed but is undergoing pre-commissioning tests. It is expected to be energised before Friday March 8, 2018. Similarly, installation of 1X60MVA at Dan Agundi substation in Kano has reached advanced stage, so also is the replacement of 1X60MVA LEEEC Model transformer razed by fire during installation in Uyo last week by TCN contractors, Messrs. T&D Technologies Limited.
“TCN wishes to assure Nigerians that such low quality transformers which were procured in 2011 will not find their way into the national grid again. This is because necessary steps for the fortification and standardisation of substations, lines and major equipment have been taken. TCN has also for the first time included certification by reputable international testing laboratories as requirement for its procurement,” it explained.