Minister of power works and housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola has commissioned a switchyard project, which can be seen as a development towards strengthening transmission grid capacity in Nigeria, the Guardian reported.
While commissioning the 330kV Switching Station located in EssienUdim/IkotEkpene LGA of Awka Ibom State, last week, Fashola said the station involves three double circuit lines that stretches over 287km.
The minister said the project is aimed at increasing the transmission grid capacity and will energise the IkotEkpene-Calabar, IkotEkpene-Alaoji, and Ikot-Ekpene-Ugwuaji transmission lines.
He said: “What is different about these projects is that it involves three double circuit lines that stretch over 287km. It is meant to increase transmission grid capacity and now that it has been completed, it proves that those who have been telling the public that the transmission capacity is static at 5,000MW are wrong.
“Secondly, you have heard the story of stranded power. That is power that is either present because the plant exists but has no gas. That is true and government is working to facilitate gas access to those plants.”
Transmission grid capacity enhanced
Fashola noted that all the power plants in the eastern region have a combined capacity of 1,846MW, which comprises 561MW in Calabar, 450MW in Alaoji, 185MW at Ibom power and 650MW at Afam VI.
He further highlighted the differences as compared to before the new improved capacity, stating that the first three plants were producing 100MW each and 300MW for the Afam VI power plant, all totalling 600MW.
The minister also said with the commissioning of IkotEkpene switching station, there will be incremental output until full capacity is available to add an extra 1,246MW to the grid.
According to the media, he commended the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited for having managed the project.
New gas supplies
The development comes after another positive milestone, which saw new gas supply added to one of the biggest power stations in the country, the Alaoji Power Plant.
The gas supply is being provided by a joint venture between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Total E&P Nigeria Limited (TEPNG).