A Review of the Nigerian Energy Industry

NERC to probe activities of TCN

Power transmission line.
Power transmission line.

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

22 July 2015, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, announced that it is engaging a technical auditor to audit the activities of the System Operation, SO, and the Market Operation, MO, of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN.

In an Expression of Interest, EoI, obtained the agency’s website, the power regulator said it was mandated by Rule 13.1 of the electricity Market Rule to engage the technical auditor to check the activities of the entities under the electricity ‘Market Model’ and their compliances with extant Market Rules and the Grid Code.

“This is to obtain an independent expert assessment of the operational functions and organization of the SO/MO, and identify appropriate measures for possible improvements to ensure the reliable and efficient operation of the transmission system, and the electricity market,” the notice stated.

According to the Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act, 2005 that guides the power sector reform, the SO and MO license includes activities of information exchange, economic dispatch, generation and interconnector scheduling, ancillary services, system reliability, registration of participants, metering, settlement and payment of monies for power generated and distributed.

NERC, however, announced that it is also consulting with the public to establish an Independent System Operation (ISO) which would see the unbundling of the TCN to help reposition the electricity market for efficiency.

Although NERC said the audit scope is not to assess the technical functionality of the National Control Centre (NCC) facilities and infrastructure where power generated and evacuated are regulated; it noted that the assessment will include procedures and process of operations as assigned to the SO/MO.

Rising from its power executives’ meeting with NERC in Abuja last week, most power operators expressed reservations with their rising debt profile. Some claimed they have not received imbalances from the Market Operator for the past three months.

The operators were reacting to a notice issued last week by the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) directing the Distribution companies (Discos) to remit their balances worth over N10billion for partial payments of power collected since February, 2015.

Meanwhile, some of the Generation companies (Gencos) have also raised alarm over non-payment of due monies accrued to them for power generated and evacuated by the TCN.

The seven operational National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs) alone are being owed N64billion both at the MO for power generated, and for other payments.

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