Power Discos, Siemens Sign MoU on Supply Expansion Plan

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Chineme Okafor in Abuja 

The 10 electricity distribution companies (Discos) captured in the new plan – ‘the Nigeria Electrification Roadmap: Technical and Commercial Proposal,’ proposed by the German power firm, Siemens, have  signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the firm to activate the plan, THISDAY has learnt.

Siemens had proposed to help raise the country’s power supply capacity to 25,000 megawatts (MW) over a period of six years.

According to the Executive Director, Research and Advocacy of the Discos’ association – the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), Mr. Sunday Oduntan, the MoU signed would allow the Discos study and implement the plan with Siemens.

Oduntan, explained to THISDAY yesterday that the Discos welcomed the plan and any other strategy by the federal government or investors to upgrade Nigeria’s electricity sector.

He however noted that details of how the Discos would engage Siemens on the plan were still being discussed.

Oduntan, equally confirmed that Siemens had engaged the Discos before it came up with the electrification improvement plan.

“Yes, we have been talking with them (Siemens); we signed an MoU on the plan, but it is too early for me to disclose the specifics to you. We welcome any action by the government and investors that will bring power to Nigerians,” said Oduntan.

Siemens in the technical and commercial plan identified 103 upgrade and new projects to be implemented in 10 of the 11 distribution networks of the country, as well as plans to raise the country’s transmission infrastructure with complementary supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system.

Siemens also offered to support the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) build the three new power plants it has plans for in Abuja, Kaduna and Kano, which would collectively generate 4,050MW of electricity when completed.

According to the plan, Siemens in its phase one, intends to increase power delivered to Nigerians by additional 2000MW, significantly reduce Aggregate Technical Commercial and Collection (ATC&C) losses of the Discos and achieve improved grid stability and reliability.

To achieve this, it will enhance the quality of the distribution networks, and this will consist of swift supply of equipment needed for replacement and, immediate expansion, including upgrade of some substations.

According to the document: “The first phase of the project will cover the supply of equipment required by the Discos for immediate use (OVCB, Auto-Reclosure, Distribution Transformer, 11kV Air Insulated Switchgear, Ring Main Unit and, Compact Sub Station),” said the technical and commercial proposal.

“This phase will be complemented with upgrading existing substations in some Discos. The upgradation will cover expansion/replacement of existing medium voltage equipment, replacement of distribution transformer with a more powerful one as well as, enhancement of the substation with an automation system and a communication facility.”

Siemens further noted that a previous study it conducted for the 33 kilovolt (kV) sub-transmission networks of some Discos showed that the 7,000MW power supply scenario for Nigeria in the first phase can be implemented successfully with only minor upgrades and extensions in the 33kV networks of the Discos.

“Also, the 33 kV sub-transmission networks of the distribution utilities are able to accommodate this 7GW scenario with minor adaptations only. Finally, the 11kV and LV distribution levels have shown to have suitable capacity in their existing status already, so that again only minor adaptations in individual cases will be required to implement the 7GW scenario from generation via transmission and distribution to the actual end-customers,” it explained.

In the second phase of the plan, Siemens said it will focus on a bulk expansion of new 33/11kV injection substation and continue to upgrade other existing substations. It also said that a SCADA for the 11 distribution companies will be implemented.

“The equipment considered in this proposal are environmental independent, reliable, maintenance free, compact, service friendly, flexible and tested in accordance with the international IEC standard,” it stated, while showing that in Eko Disco, nine projects would be implemented in the two phases, 31 in Ikeja Disco, 14 in Abuja, five in Ibadan, two in Enugu and Port Harcourt respectively, as well as four in Jos, 23 in Kaduna, 14 in Kano and one in Benin. No upgrade or new project was slated for Yola Disco in any of the two phases.

For the third phase, it indicated that new substations will be scheduled as per long term strategy in line with expansion of the power generation and power transmission network.

“The objective of this phase is to increase the grid capacity from 11GW (expected to be realised from phases 1 and 2) to 25GW. In this phase, focus will be on additional transmission and distribution assets upgrade based on network studies and load demand, large scale power project.