‘TCN requires $1.5bn annually to improve power transmission’

ABUJA – The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) on Wednesday hinted that it requires an annual investment of $1.5 billion to improve the power transmission that Nigerians are currently enjoying.

Mack Kast, the managing director and chief executive officer of TCN, said this in Abuja after a meeting of the Gencos and Discos with the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

“We need more power, and to achieve that, we need more cash. In that regard, TCN needs to invest in the neighbourhood of $1.5 billion per year to continue to upgrade and increase the capacity of infrastructure that we have.

“We expect that roughly speaking, by 2017, we should be able to evacuate 14 gigawatts of power, and increase that power to 20 gigawatts by the year 2020”, Kast said.

Meanwhile, the NERC on Wednesday announced the postponement of the take-off of the Transitional Electricity Market (TEM) due to some challenges.

Sam Amadi, its chairman, made the announcement while speaking with newsmen.

Amadi said the implementation of the TEM was billed to take off in on March 1 but postponed following complains by the chief executive officers (CEOs) of the Gencos and Discos.

He said they complained about operational losses,tariff review and challenges in gas supply.
“The CEOs agreed with NERC that it will not be realistic to declare TEM in March because of some of the market conditions which are yet to be resolved.

“TEM is a post privatisation phase whereby energy will be bought and sold based on agreements among stakeholders.
“It allows for the Nigerian Bank Electricity Trading (NBET) to purchase electricity from the Gencos through Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and sell to Discos through vesting contracts.

“TEM also allows the Discos and Gencos to enter into agreement on how to buy electricity without going through NBET”, he said.
Amadi said the postponement of TEM would be communicated to the minister of power to act accordingly.
He, however, expressed optimism that a new date would be announced soon by the minister when all the issues raised might have been resolved by the stakeholders.

Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) and Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC), the two Discos covering Lagos State and some parts of Ogun State, said efforts are ongoing to come up with a robust metering system that will serve customers effectively.
The companies, in a joint statement on power supply situation on Wednesday, said the planned metering system would eradicate the complaints of estimated billing and check energy theft being perpetrated by people tinkering with the pre-paid meters

– BUSINESS DAY

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