By John Ikani
Nigeria is perfecting plans to sell unused electricity to four West African countries through a planned $570 million Northcore Power Transmission Line.
This was made known by the acting Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and Chairman, Executive Board of the West African Power Pool (WAPP), Engr. Sule Ahmed Abdulaziz during the WAPP meeting on the Northcore project in Abuja.
According to him, “The power we will be selling is the power that is not needed in Nigeria. The generators that are going to supply power to this transmission line are going to generate that power specifically for this project. So it is unutilised power.”
Abdulaziz said Nigeria is expecting new generators to participate in the energy export for the 875 kilometre 330 kilovolts Northcore transmission line from Nigeria through Niger, Togo, Benin to Burkina Faso.
“In addition, there are some communities that are under the line route, about 611 of them which will be getting power so that there won’t be just a transmission line passing without impact.”
Cost and funding
The project is funded by World Bank, French Development Council and the African Development Bank.
The Secretary General of WAPP, Siengui Appolinaire Ki, said: “The cost is about $570 million and the part of the investment in each country is funded by the country and they are supported by the donors, and Nigeria is taking its own.”
He also said the funding agreement is ready as they await the disbursement.
However, the donor agencies had said they needed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between the buying and the selling countries to be executed before releasing the fund.
“So we will be addressing the ministers on this so they can talk to the donors to remove this condition for disbursing the fund and let’s go on with the implementation,” he noted.
What you should know
Nigeria is endowed with large oil, gas, hydro and solar resources, and it has the potential to generate 12,522 MW of electric power from existing plants.
On most days, however, it is only able to dispatch around 4,000 MW, which is insufficient for a country of over 195 million people.
About 2,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity is said to be unutilised daily across the Generation Companies (GenCos) in Nigeria and could be exported.
On the benefits, the WAPP chairman said, “Nigeria has the greatest advantage among these countries because the electricity is going to be exported from Nigerian GenCos. So from that, the revenue is going to be enhanced and a lot of people will be employed in Nigeria.”