The governments of Nigeria, Togo, Burkina Faso and the Niger Republic have put together the final touches to the execution of a planned $570 million transmission line which runs across the four countries.
The acting MD of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and chairman of the executive board of the West African Power Pool (WAPP), Sule Abdulaziz, disclosed that unused electricity within the country will be taken to the participating countries through the Northcore Power Transmission Line.
The TCN executive noted that concerns raised over the country selling its generated power to other countries when it doesn’t have enough does not arise, noting that unutilised power generated daily will be exported to avoid waste.
According to him, the project take approximately two years to complete, with funding from international financial organisations in collaboration with the participating countries, which will be disbursed after the contract signing ceremony.
He said: “The power we will be selling is the power that is not needed in Nigeria. These 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 noted that Nigeria is expecting new generators to participate in the energy export for the 875km 330kV transmission line from Nigeria through the three other countries, adding that jobs will be created while Nigeria will earn foreign exchange.
He noted: “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.”
Abdulaziz added that the project, which is funded by the World Bank, French Development Council and the African Development Bank (AfDB), has recorded progress and that the energy ministers will be addressing security issues for the project.
“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,” he said.
In his comments, the Secretary-General of WAPP, Appolinaire Ki said that when the facility becomes operational, there will be continuous feedstock, assuring that the funding agreement is ready as participating countries await the disbursement.
Ki noted that the cost is approximately $570 million and the part of the investment in each country is funded by the respective country who are supported by the donors.
“However, the donor agencies have said they need a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between the buying and the selling countries to be executed before releasing the funds.
“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 us go on with the implementation,” he explained.
The WAPP executive also noted that security was a major issue in the execution of the project, explaining that the Power Pool body was discussing ways of incorporating the security agencies to mitigate threats that may be posed by criminals.