Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) Thursday disclosed that it has begun the execution of a $170 million power transmission project called the ‘Abuja Feeding Scheme’.
Under the programme, TCN will build five new transmission substations in the capital city within 24 months to stabilise electricity supply in the area.
The Managing Director of TCN, Mr. Usman Mohammed, stated this during the ground breaking ceremony for the projects in Abuja.
Mohammed said the scheme comprises two 330 kilovolt (kV) substations and three 132kV substations, and will take care of power supply challenges in the city.
“This Abuja transmission scheme is to solve the transmission problem in Abuja at least in the next 20 years. Currently, Abuja has only two 330kV substations and we are putting additional two; it has five 132kV substations, we are adding three,” Mohammed said.
He explained that the TCN has continued to expand the national grid with new projects as well as the completion of existing projects.
According to him, out of the 800 containers of TCN’s equipment stranded in the port, “only two have been lost; the other 798 containers are intact and we are removing them from the ports.”
Commending the French Development Agency (AFD) for its commitment to Nigeria’s power sector, Mohammed, said it was the first time an international donor agency would finance a green-field project in the country.
He noted that the TCN saved $25 million in the procurement process for the new Abuja projects because they followed a competitive and transparent procurement process.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Power, Mr. Louis Edozien, said the five substations will add 624 megawatts (MW) wheeling capacity to the TCN which could be supplied to residents and businesses in and around Abuja.
Edozien stated that the contractors were competent, and charged them to demonstrate their competence in the execution of the project.
He equally admonished the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (Disco) to be willing to take up more electricity from the expanded TCN capacity, adding that: “It is the Disco that must take the role in taking this power and delivering the power to the consumers.”
Edozien, the urged AFD to also invest in the distribution segment of the sector. He assured it the investment would be worth it.
Managing Director of the project consultancy firm, OskaJo and Partners, Mr. Joseph Uujamhan, said three contractors would handle the project.
Uujamhan said TBEA and Energo Projekt will build the 330kV transmission lines from Lafia in Nasarawa State to New Apo, then to Old Apo 132/33KV substation, to connect to new substations at Lubge and Kuje in Abuja.
According to him, Grid Solutions will build two 330kV substations in New Apo and Lugbe with 600MVA transformer, while Sieyuan-Sac will build three 132kV substations in Lokogoma, Kuje and Dawaki (Gwarimpa) area of Abuja.
“With the help of everyone here, we assure you of complete success and in within 24 months’ time, we will all be smiling,” Uujamhan said.
Also, the Deputy Ambassador of France to Nigeria, Audren De Kerdrel Guillaume, said the $170 million transmission project as financed by AFD would stabilise the quality of power supply to over three million residents of Abuja.