TCN Invests $170m to Upgrade Electricity Transmission in Abuja

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Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has disclosed plan to invest about $170 million on the construction of five new transmission sub-stations in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

TCN’s Managing Director, Mr. Usman Gur Mohammed, made the disclosure at a recent dinner the company had for retired senior officers of defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) in Abuja.

He explained the project would come under the first phase of TCN’s Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Plan (TREP) and financed by the French development agency – Agence Française de Developpment (AFD).

According to him, it would include sub-stations in Lokogoma; Gwarinpa; Kuje; Apo and Lugbe.
This, he added would also be complemented by the construction of a new electricity transmission route from Lafia in Nasarawa State to Abuja, to give the FCT an added power supply advantage.

Besides the construction of the five new sub-stations and transmission routes to stabilise electricity supply to Abuja, Mohammed also said the TCN would send a complaint letter to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), to ask for a special regulatory cover for its transmission facilities especially heavy-duty transformers across the country which he claimed are frequently impacted by electricity accidents from the various distribution facilities of electricity distribution companies (Discos).

He claimed that the TCN had lost some of its transformers to accidents caused by the Discos, because according to him, the Discos are often connected directly to TCN sub-stations instead of to their various injection sub-stations from which they should supply to their network, thus endangering TCN transformers on occasions of electricity accidents.

“Under the grid code, everybody have responsibilities. We have our responsibilities; the distribution companies have their responsibilities. While they fail to invest in their networks, it affects our systems.
“When we are connecting to them, we have to insist that if our transformer or something else get spoilt because of lack of investment on their side, they will have to pay us,” Mohammed said.

He further explained: “And, that is why I am telling NERC that we are writing a petition, that those areas where they (Discos) are taking supply directly from our transformers because they have failed to build their own injection substation, we are going to ask for a rule from NERC to say that if our transformers get spoilt because the distribution company fail to invest, they are going to compensate us.

“If they connect directly from our sub-station without passing through their injection substations and there is a fault on their line, it will hit on our transformers directly.

“Sometimes they claim they have cleared the fault and we install again, but the fault has not been cleared and it will spoil our transformer. So, what we are saying is that we will write a petition to ask NERC to do a regulation that will protect us.”