The inability of electricity distribution companies (Discos) to have access to many of the transmission transformers installed by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) will render the transmission of the expected 8000 megawatts of electricity from those transformers ineffective.
This is because there is a lack of synergy among the two organisations on where best the transformers should be installed. This situation, industry experts observe, is certainly compounding the challenges Nigerians are facing in respect of power supply.
The expansion programme of TCN is good but there is misalignment among the parties that should make the impact of the programme effective, according to industry operator in an interview with BusinessDay
The TCN claims it has about 8000mw capacity, but some industry operators are sceptical if Nigerians would enjoy this when the generating companies (Gencos) decide to make the 8000mw available for transmission because it is not carrying the Discos along in its programme.
The ugly situation between them is manifested in where some of the transmission transformers are installed. Some are installed where they are not needed while existing transformers in other areas are overloaded thereby causing acute load shedding. Some of the new transformers should have been placed close to the existing ones with facilities that can evacuate power and act as relief transformers, stakeholder states.
For example, a small island in Lagos called Ilase has a 30MVA transmission transformer with 24mw capacity allocated to it, but stakeholders say the community does not need such transformer, saying such facility should have been taking to places where other transformers are experiencing overloading for a more stable power supply. The requirement of the community they say may not be more than 2mw.
Similarly, a 2/60MVA transformer was commissioned recently at Odogunyan, also in Lagos, where there is just a 15MVA transformer on the Disco’s side to evacuate some of the loads, leaving the balance unutilised because there is no other 33kv line to evacuate the load to the consumers.
The TCN expansion programme does not fit into the workings of the Discos, and this is part of the reasons why there are inadequate supplies of electricity in many places, another stakeholder notes.
An industry source discloses to BusinessDay that there are high capacity transformers, 300MVA, dumped at some transmission substations across the country, which are almost redundant because they are underutilised as a result of lack of evacuation facilities.
The evacuation of power from where some of the new transformers are installed to the consumers is difficult because the Discos do not have investment plans to put in place infrastructure that will take power out of such areas, another stakeholder states.
An official of one of the Discos says they have drawn the attention of TCN and the Federal Government to this anomaly but nothing seems to be happening in that respect.
Efforts to get the reaction of TCN through Ndidi Mba, general manager, public affairs, failed, as she did not respond to the email sent to her.
Shortly before his removal from office, the former managing director of the TCN, Usman Mohammed, said the transmission company currently had plans to build capacity to evacuate 10,000mw of electricity.
The installation of 68 transformers and the construction of transmission lines across the country between 2017 and October 2019, had aided the growth of the country’s electricity evacuation capacity, Mohammed said.
He explained that the last simulation of the grid was done in December 2018, when transmission moved from 5,500mw to 8,100mw, noting that the intention of the government was to build more transmission lines, as some areas had high transformer capacities but the lines supplying them power was not adequate.
The maintenance and expansions being carried out are being done under the Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme (TREP) of the Federal Government, he said. The objective of TREP is to expand the grid to 20,000mw by 2023.
Source: Business Day