- TCN: Poor Discos’ facilities destroying transmission facilities daily
By Chineme Okafor in Abuja
Nigeria’s electricity generation level which rose to above 5,000 megawatts (MW) from an average of 4,500MW in the last few days of April, has continued to stay at the 5,000MW mark even into the first two days in May.
This is just as the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has raised the alarm that its transmission facilities were facing regular destruction by the poor distribution facilities of the 11 electricity distribution companies (Discos) in the country. It thus called on them to make investments in their distribution networks to keep its transmission facilities from alleged destruction.
An agregate record of the power generation figures obtained by THISDAY on Wednesday in Abuja from the websites of the System Operators department of the TCN, and the Advisory Power Team in the office of the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, showed that between April 29 and May 1, power generation has remained at an average of 5,027.8MW.
The figures showed that generation rose from 4,111MW on April 28, to 5,062.40MW on April 29; it subsequently dropped to 5,007MW the next day, and then picked up to 5,014MW as recorded on May 1, 2018.
Further, the data showed that between April 28 and 30, an average of 4,213.7MW was sent out to the distribution companies for Nigerians to use from the average generation figure of 5,027.8MW, thus indicating that there were constraints that stopped all of the generated power from getting to Nigerians.
On this for instance, the records of the Advisory Power Team stated that on April 30, the average power sent out was 4,258MW, and that 1,588MW was lost to unavailability of gas, while 40MW was not available because of failures of transmission infrastructure.
It also explained that 987.8MW was not generated due to high frequency resulting from unavailability of distribution infrastructure, in addition to the loss of 95MW to water management constraints.
For that day, the report noted that the sector lost an estimated N1.301 billion due to insufficient gas supply, distribution infrastructure, transmission infrastructure and water reserves, adding that the dominant constraint for the sector at the month end was gas.
On December 18, 2017, the TCN disclosed that power generation and transmission peaked at 5,222.3MW, the highest so far for Nigeria. The country has however been unable to get to that generation level since then.
Meanwhile, the TCN has claimed that its transmission facilities are being destroyed everyday by the poor distribution facilities of the Discos.
It stated in a statement from its General Manager, Public Affairs, Mrs. Ndidi Mbah, in Abuja that although the Nigerian Electricity Industry (NESI) is still facing liquidity problem, the only way its Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme (TREP) can give maximum benefit to Nigeria would be that a commensurate investment was done on the various distribution networks nationwide.
“This is because poorly maintained distribution network is currently destroying transmission equipment on a daily basis. The lack of investment in distribution network is more problematic anytime there is heavy rainfall.
“TCN is aware of the various locations where it still has constraints but this is being addressed with the various installations under the Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme. TCN looks forward to working in harmony with other sector players to ensure Nigerians derive maximum benefit from these investments in its network,” Mbah said.
Mbah also stated the TCN’s completion of the installation of new high voltage transformers in Enugu, Suleja, Zaria, and Bida, to boost electricity supplies in the four cities.
It explained in the statement that the numbers of transformers installed were five and they included a brand new 60MVA transformer at its Bida substation, and another 60MVA in Suleja substation both in Niger State.
It stated that two 60MVA power transformers were installed at its New Haven substation in Enugu, while a 60MVA transformer was installed at its Zaria substation in Kaduna State.
According to the statement, the TCN also completed the upgrade of a 45MVA power transformer to 60MVA at its Suleja substation.
“The transformers have been energised and supplying the various communities where they are located. They add to the several transformers, substations and lines completed across the country either by TCN in-house engineers or by contractors that are ready for official commissioning by the Honourable Minister of Power Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola,” Mbah, said in the statement.
According to her, with the additional power transformers at TCN’s substations, the rationing of electricity supply which was recently experienced by customers of the Enugu electricity distribution company (Disco) around Enugu metropolis, Nkanu and Aninri will now have to stop.
“Also, electricity supply to customers of Abuja electricity distribution company and Kaduna electricity distribution company around Suleja, Zaria and Bida will also experience improved power supply,” she added.
TCN also called for the understanding of the people of Kaduna following the re-conducting of the 132kV transmission line of the Mando power station which it noted was affecting power supply to some parts of Kaduna.
Mbah explained that TCN’s engineers have continued to work on the line and that it was 90 per cent complete, adding that re-conducting the line was necessary to enable it supply enough power to the new 2X60MVA power transformers which are at their final stage of installation at power station.
“With the installation of the 2X60MVA transformers, the capacity of Kaduna power station substation which is currently 120MVA, will increase to 240MVA,” she stated.