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Nigeria: Govt Hopes to Ramp Up Power Infrastructure With $4bn Funding

The Federal Government, FG, has expressed optimism that the various funding arrangements amounting to about $4 billion it has put in place to boost power transmission capacity and other power infrastructure in the country would lead to improved power supply to Nigerians.

Nigeria's electricity supply in the past two weeks went through turbulent time, following the inability of power generation companies (GENCOs) to put load on the national grid.

The imbalance, amongst other factors, led to the collapse of the grid twice during the period.

But the FG has said that it has taken steps to support the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) which manages the grid and the transmission network across the country to improve capacity and maintain grid stability.

The government said it has in the past few years arranged about $4 billion in funding to boost transmission and distribution capacity while also supporting power generation.

This support, the government said, has resulted in the importation 15 power transformers which would raise the national transmission wheeling capacity by 1,487 Megawatts. This will improve the transmission to 7,000MW.

The brand new power transformers were received at the Apapa port, Lagos in what officials described as a historic event for the entire power sector.

The transformers comprise 10 units of 60MVA transformer for 132/33kV line capacity and five units of 150MVA 330/132kV capacity transformers delivered to TCN Central Store in Ojo, Lagos State, for onward delivery to various TCN project sites nationwide.

Speaking on the effort by the FG to boost transmission network, the Minister of Power, Engr. Abubakar Aliyu, said the arrival of the multiple power transformers along with other initiatives would ensure that transmission capacity would be ahead of available generation capacity.

"I am also pleased to announce that we have begun implementation of the Siemens PPI with the purchase of 10 mobile transformers and 10 substations.

"The pre-engineering segment of the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI) contract is complete and we expect contract offers on 127 Transmission and Distribution projects (Brownfield and Greenfield) from Siemens."

Aliyu also said for better utilisation of energy generated on the national grid, the federal government has many key grid initiatives with more than N125.2 billion budgeted between 2015 to 2021 for TCN and Development Finance Funding through World Bank, the African Development Bank (AfDB), French development agency (AFD), Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and others of up to $1.7 billion.

He stated further that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is funding $250 million for the rehabilitation of critical interfaces between Transmission and Distribution to increase and stabilize power delivery.

Additionally, through the Siemens Presidential Power Initiative (PPI), the Nigerian government is bringing $2 billion or more to the transmission grid.

He stated further: "This is almost $4 billion secured by this administration to augment the Grid. It should be noted that many of these funds are being actively spent and the results will be felt over time. We are working tirelessly to ensure that all of these investments translate to incremental delivered power".

Elaborating further on the efforts of the government at strengthening power transmission which is a core part of the value chain that was not privatized, the minister said TCN was delivering 135 ongoing transmission lines, substations and other associated grid infrastructure projects.

"There are 135 ongoing projects for transmission lines, substations and other associated grid infrastructure. TCN has completed 30 key Substation Projects and 12 important Transmission Lines," he noted.

The Minister listed some of the projects to include the resuscitation of the second Egbin-Ajah Transmission Line and the recently commissioned NDPHC Lafia 2X150 MVA & 2X60 /132/33/330 KV Transmission Substation (under NIPP); the 330kV Quad Lines from Alaoji to Onitsha, Delta Power Station to Benin as well as the Kano to Katsina 330kV line. There is also the Lagos/Ogun Transmission Infrastructure Project under JICA funding.

He pointed out that TCN had completed 30 key substation projects and 12 important transmission lines.

"Recently through the CBN intervention for Transmission-Distribution interfaces we have also awarded more than 30 Substation Rehabilitations and 1,570MVA transformer capacity upgrades with 34 critical transformers to be installed or replaced".

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