Improved power supply: TCN draws out $7.5bn 5-year expansion plan

IN an effort to improve the state of power supply in the country, the Transmission Company of Nigeria ( TCN) has mapped out a five-year expansion plan, which will gulp a total of $7.5billion.

It said the expansion plan was borne out of its commitment to the Presidential Roadmap on power as well as the three stages of development plan unveiled by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola.

This was disclosed on Monday, by the Managing Director MD/CEO, TCN, Dr. Abubakar Atiku in Abuja at a briefing on the Roadmap to wheeling 10,000MWs of power by 2019.

In his explanations, he said in order to meet up with the incremental, steady and uninterrupted power Plan announced by the Minister of Power, the 5-year expansion plan will witness the completion of 56 critical projects.

According to him, by the end of 2016, the TCN’s wheeling capacity would have increased from the present 5,500MW to 6,000MW upon  completion of  22 critical projects captured in the 2016 Federal Government FG’s Budget.

He pointed out that in terms of steady Power Supply, the TCN has also mapped out strategies to boost its transmission or wheeling capability to 8200MW by the end of 2018.

He said:”this we intend to achieve with the completion of eight new projects in the year 2018.”

Atiku also stressed that the plan has also been carefully developed with the aim of realizing an uninterrupted power supply with the realization of 20,000MW by the year 2022.

“The need to meet the market participant and an important player in the electricity value chain is very much committed to the Presidential Road Map on Power and the three stage development of the power sector unveiled by the Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing, viz Incremental, Steady and Uninterrupted Supply of electricity to the nation.

“We have therefore planned our (5) years expansion programme to ensure that by the year 2019, we meet up with President Muhammadu Buhari‘s aspiration for achieving 10,000MW.

“In the realization of 10,000MW as envisaged in the year 2019, our five year expansion plan has 56 projects to be completed leading to a total wheeling capacity of 11,500MW by the year 2019.” he said

He, however, quickly noted that the success of projects listed in the plan, would not be realized without adequate financial resources.

While expressing hope that the FG will positively support the projects in terms of funding, he said:”The on-going and new projects to facilitate the achievement of the 5years expansion plan cannot be realized without adequate financial resources.

“TCN therefore anticipates that FG as the sole owner of the company will positively empower and facilitate funding of the various projects.”

He quickly pointed out that apart from the FG’s appropriation, TCN is supported through funding agencies such as AFDB, AFD, World Bank and Special funds from EURO Bond, China Exim Bank and JICA.

Atiku further explained that an anticipated funding requirement from these agencies in form of concessionary loans and grant is put at $3.4BN.

The FG, he said, is expected to bring in $1.5B for the five years period while the proposed investor / contractor financing initiative by TCN is expected to contribute $2.6B.

“This makes an estimate total funding requirements of $7.5B for the 5years expansion plan,” he added

On the take over of the TCN’s management after the expiration of the FG’s contract with the Manitoba Hydro International Nigeria Limited, he said this was in the interest of Nigeria.

“You will recall that the Federal Government as part of the Power Sector reforms had contracted the Manitoba Hydro International Nigeria Ltd as management contractors to TCN which is the only entity not privatized out the 18 Successor  Companies of PHCN.

“The Management contract was for an initial period of three years as from 1st August, 2012, which upon expiration was extended by one year to 31st July, 2016.

“Let me assure Nigerians that l and my colleagues in the management team which comprised of seasoned professionals in their chosen fields were carefully selected to understudy the management contractors and are equal to the tasks in transforming the Transmission Company of Nigeria into the desired organization capable if meeting the expectations of Nigerians in the delivery of efficient and cost effective power.

“Indeed my management team has the support of the entire workforce of Transmission Company who shares the believe that – Not foreign or expatriates whose primary interest is the financial benefits deliverables from their engagement with this country.” he said

Consequently, he reassured that all commitments with Transmission Company of Nigeria under the management contractor remain valid, adding that contracts entered will be executed in line with contractual obligation agreed by all parties.”

On whether termination of the management contract with Manitoba LTD would lead to withdrawal of donors, he said: “l wish to allay the fears expressed in some quarters that with termination of the management, our concessionary loans and grants by multinational – funding agencies such as World Bank will be withdrawn.

“Let me make it categorically clear that,PHCN and indeed TCN had been relating with these funding Agencies prior to the coming of the Management Contractor and will continue to relate in stronger terms with the Nigerian management in place.”