The Federal Government has drafted a long-term master plan aimed at increasing the transmission capacity to as high as 28,000MW by year 2035. Prior to now, there have been several calls for the increase of the country’s transmission capacity. The disparity in figures between power generation and transmission has led to the creation of underutilized power. The present efforts of the Federal Government geared at savaging the situation is an approach to be applauded.
The 20-year transmission master plan, targeting a wheeling capacity of 10,000 megawatts of electricity by 2020 was presented by the Transmission Company of Nigeria in Abuja. Interim Managing Director of TCN, Mr. Usman Gur Mohammed, who presented the plan to Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, said the company engaged Fitchner of Germany in November 2015 under Nigeria Electricity and Gas Improvement Programme, NEGIP, financed by World Bank and was ready on December 22, 2017. The officials of Fitchner GmbH & Co, K.G. of Germany in their presentations, explained that 387MW will be exported from the 10,000MW target of 2020.
‘’The transmission capacity would reach 15,000MW with 1,540MW marked for export in 2025. By 2030, the electricity grid will have a 23,000MW wheeling capacity and 28,000MW by 2035 from which 2,000MW will be available for export,” he said.
Power Analyst for the consultancy firm, Dr. Liliana Oprea, said the master plan integrates training from TCN staff and rehabilitation of many transmission substations financed by several international agencies, including the World Bank and African Development Bank, AfDB.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing Mr. Fashola noted that the presidential directive of the present administration changed things and that it was followed with policies and budgetary support, which helped TCN to clear 502 containers to complete several transmission projects to improve electricity supply. According to him, the plan was to ensure that in future, there was no excuse of stranded power generation not being evacuated as the government was planning for the future. Fashola said;
“In future, we should no longer have story of stranded power. That is power that is produced but not utilised because of no transmission and evacuation means.”