TCN embarks on grid capacity expansion to curtail system collapses

*Power transmission lines.

*Power transmission lines.

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

29 June 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) announced on Tuesday that it has commenced expansion of its grid capacity with the objective of wheeling generated power from electricity generation companies (Gencos) operating in the country.

This was announced at a one-day management retreat themed “The Way Forward” where the company extensively discussed its operations, and how to ensure that it achieves specific short term goals.

Currently, the grid stability is presently impaired, due to lack of adequate generation, the company said it will continue to work at averting the collapse of the system.

Three specific short term projects were identified as “quick win” projects that should be completed with the least amount of money and yet have maximum impact on the transmission network.

A statement made available to our correspondent in Abuja noted that the retreat critically analyzed the company’s strengths, weaknesses and areas to be improved upon as well as opportunities available for improved service delivery, sustained capacity development and stability in the nation’s transmission network.

The retreat observed that though the company has the capacity to wheel maximum generation from Gencos to Discos, there is the need to further expand its grid capacity so as to ensure that it continues to surpass the generation curve.

These quick win projects would be given highest priority attention in order to improve the network and increase return on investment, a communique issued at the end of the program noted.

The projects include the installation of a 60MVA, 330/132/33kV power transformer at the Ife transmission Substation which is expected to be completed within three months, adding 48MW to the nation’s transmission capacity.

Also, it will embark on repair and installation of 60No defective 33kV circuit breakers which would be completed within six months and on completion enhance the grid wheeling capacity with about 28,800MWH (megawatt hour).

These projects, when completed will increase TCN wheeling charges by over N700million, TCN said.

Another important decision of the meeting was the urgent need to empower the regions, increase their autonomy and set Key Performance Indicators (KPI) through which they can be monitored and held accountable.

A change management process would also be instituted to address staff attitude to work, remove bottlenecks in TCN’s payment process, identify and close skill gaps through staff training with emphasis on-the-job training.

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