01 April 2014, Abuja – The federal government has disclosed its plans to leverage on the ongoing electricity transmission plans of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to transform Nigeria into a regional power hub where members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will feed from.
Expected to cut across ECOWAS countries within the regional West African Power Pool (WAPP) framework, the government explained that its plans was predicated on the economic possibilities of importation and exportation of electric power from Nigeria and other sources that closer to Nigeria in proximity to members of WAPP.
Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo stated recently in Abuja that the plan was also informed by Nigeria’s recent bilateral and multilateral relationship with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) who is developing a 40,000 megawatts (MW) hydro power plant at the Inga dam and which will be way beyond the consumption capacity of DRC.
Nebo explained that Nigeria plans to make the most of its transmission infrastructure which it is currently expanding to provide a profitable exchange of electricity power amongst WAPP member states, adding that the economic benefits from the planned framework would be enormous for Nigeria.
He said: “The government of Nigeria is in bilateral and multilateral relationships at various stages of advancement with the other governments for the importation and exportation of power.
“For example, Nigeria has signed MoU with Democratic Republic of Congo for the importation of electricity from the Inga Dam power plants, for both local consumption and export to other countries. The Inga is envisaged to exceed 40,000MW on full exploitation.”
He further explained that TCN network spreads to all parts of the country and across the border to some neighbouring countries to form part of the West African Power Pool (WAPP).
With the realisation of the Inga and other initiatives, he said, Nigeria will become a regional hub in international electricity trade, exporting large swathes of internally generated as well as imported power to WAPP countries.
The minister noted that the foregoing measures will greatly ramp up the total power generation on the TCN grid, thus necessitating the massive and rapid expansion of the transmission network and other key power infrastructure.
Under WAPP, which Nigeria currently serves as its chairman and member of the executive board, the country has a power sale obligation of about 150MW to the Communaute Electrique du Benin (Transmission Company of Benin and Togo) (CEB) and likely to increase it upon improvements in her generation capacity.
It was recently learnt that Nigeria could increase the total amount of power supplied to CEB in the power sale agreement to about 200MW once her generation capacity was ramped up by the new investors.
Also, the revised work plan of WAPP in which it ambitiously hopes to generate about 7170MW of power by 2017, indicates that Nigeria has to contribute about 3000MW in the framework.
– This Day