In the quest to increase the transmission wheeling capacity in Nigeria, the federal government through the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), is exciting scores of projects nationwide.
These projects are to raise the bulk power transmission by over 10,000 megawatts (MW) added to the current 8,100MW simulated transmission wheeling capacity.
In this report, this newspaper beamed a searchlight on the Kano transmission region of TCN which is one of the 10 regions of the company. Kano region covers a core part of the Northwest region and states comprising Kano, Katsina, Jigawa and parts of Bauchi state.
According to the Kano region projects’ records by the company’s Transmission Service Provider (TSP) section, there are 39 projects for the region.
The breakdown shows that while seven projects have been completed recently, there are 20 ongoing power transmission projects, and there are 12 other key power transmission projects that are at various stages of conception and execution.
How 7 power projects were delivered
Analysis of the seven projects completed indicates that TCN constructed a 132/33kV power transmission substation in Bichi in Kano state and installed a 30MVA power transformer there to improve bulk power access at the Bichi area and its environs. The project, which has since been delivered 100 per cent and put to use, awaits its official commissioning.
The company also constructed a 1.2km access road and drainage from the Bichi transmission substation to link the Kano – Katsina expressway as well as gravelling of the substation area.
Still in Bichi, the federal government recently awarded another contract to construct a 132/33kV substation that will have two units of 60MVA transformers.
In Kumbotso, Kano city, TCN completed the construction of a regional office block to house the Kano region of TCN. Another office block was built at the Jigawa subregion, and another at the Katsina sub-region.
The company has also completed the construction of a 132/33kV transmission substation at Rimin Zakara in Kano. The new substation has two units of 150MVA transformers on the 330kV side and two units of 60MVA transformers on the 132kV side.
20 ongoing projects in 4 states
Apart from these seven completed projects, there are 20 ongoing power transmission projects in four states across the Kano region of TCN.
Analysis of the projects’ record shows that the construction of a subregional office of TCN at the Kumbotso substation in Kano is at 80 per cent level in December 2022. Still at Kumbotso substation, a new bay has been constructed and the relocation of a 75MVAR Shunt Reactor to the new bay is at 90% completion level.
At the Dakata axis of Kano, TCN is constructing a 132kV transmission line bay that will link up to Hadejia in Jigawa state; the ongoing project has passed midway.
TCN is almost completing the replacement of a 7.5MVA transformer with 60MVA transformer at the 132/33kV Hadejia substation.
At the Hotoro axis in Kano, TCN is halfway through the completion of Walalambe 132/33kV transmission substation where it is also installing two brand new 40MVA transformers. The contract was awarded for over 17 years and is to boost bulk power to the industrial area nearby when completed.
In Bauchi state, there is a fresh installation of a 40MVA mobile power transformer and the building of the Jama’re 132/33kV substation. The access road, control room and transformer plinth has already been constructed, according to the project record.
Also in Katsina, TCN has reached nearly half of the expected work load in the construction of the 330kV Katsina substation which will have two brand new 150MVA transformers on the 330kV level and two new 60MVA transformers on the 132kV side.
The company also awarded a contract for the construction of a 330kV transmission line from Kano to Katsina to service the new mega substation. The contract which has been for 10 years, received more attention recently and is being accelerated.
The company just began massive civil works for the installation of 100MVA power transformers at the 132kV Kumbotso, Dakata and Dan Agundi substations in Kano and one at the Kankia substation in Katsina.
It is also replacing the 30MVA mobile transformer at Kumbotso substation with a new 100MVA transformer. On the 330kV side of the Kumbotso substation, the company is installing a 150MVA power transformer; TCN will then replace an old 150MVA transformer with 300MVA, towards improving bulk power for the Kumbotso and Challawa industrial area in Kano. The transformers have been procured and awaiting delivery, the records indicated.
Another project that has been lying fallow for 12 years is the new Danbatta substation in Kano. The company has mobilised action as of recent to construct a 132/33kv transmission substation that will have two brand new 60MVA transformers.
Another project was awarded recently for the construction of a 132/33kV substation with two units of 60MVA transformers at the Kanye area of Kano. The company has requested land from the Kano government to construct a similar substation in the Dangwauro area of Kano.
And in Katsina, the company is speeding up the construction of a 132/33kV substation In Kankara with two units of 60MVA transformers to improve the bulk power access in Funtua, Kankara, Malumfashi. Similar projects have been awarded for Malumfashi and Dutsinma towns in Katsina.
Power consumers to expect 12 more projects
In line with its projection and planning for the national grid expansion, TCN is also working on 12 other power transmission projects in the Kano region that cuts across four states.
These projects are at different stages of conception and execution. Some of them include the construction of a 330/132/33kV mega substation in the Jogana area of Kano with two units of 150MVA transformers, of which TCN has requested for land from the state government.
There is similar work for such a huge substation Daura town of Katsina where a new 132kV substation was commissioned in 2019.
To also strengthen the bulk power transmission between Kano and Jigawa and Kano and Katsina, TCN is reconductoring the 132kV transmission line from Hadejia, and the Katsina line 1 to complement the new 330kv line being constructed. Within Kano, TCN is reconductoring the 132kV Kumbotso to Dakata line; it is reconstructing the Kumbotso to Dan Agundi 132kV line and has marked all structures encroaching the line route.
In Jigawa, the company has acquired land to construct a 132kV substation with two units of 60MVA transformers each in Gwaram, Birnin Kudu, Kazaure, Babura towns. The sites have been provided and work has begun except at Kazaure where TCN is in process to award the contract.
Also in Katsina, the people of Mashi and Kankara are expecting to get a 132kV substation each with two units of 60MVA transformers in the substations. Work has started in Mashi but the Kankara project’s contract has not been awarded, the records showed.
Why we are investing massively in transmission – MD
Speaking on the investments and projects’ execution during an interview, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of TCN, Engr. Sule Abdulaziz, said the company was making the improvements in the grid, through its Nigeria Electricity Grid Maintenance, Expansion, and Rehabilitation Programme (NEGMERP) to improve bulk power available to distribution load centres to supply to Nigerians.
He said, “These were accomplished in spite of the challenges such as insurgency, vandalism, communal clashes and encroachment of transmission Right of Way (RoW).”
He also said a lot of old substations have been reinforced with new transformers and associated switchgear; old transmission lines are also being reconductored.
The company’s head said TCN has also awarded contracts for several new transmission lines as part of its priority projects, while some of the construction works are ongoing others are at different stages of completion. These include reconductoring of 16 transmission lines, and 17 others under the Service Level Agreement (SLA) projects to further reinforce the grid for optimal evacuation and transmission of bulk electricity.
“We must resolve to continually face our challenges head-on by constantly looking for ways to improve our revenue capacity and capability to deliver on our mandate,” Abdulaziz noted.
He also urged stakeholders to collaborate with TCN in safeguarding power transmission facilities nationwide.
Consumer group lauds FG on power investments
In view of the massive investments by the federal government, particularly the transmission section of the power sector value chain, the Nigerian Power Consumers Forum (NPCF), commended TCN for the feat.
It noted that only such critical power transmission grid investments, backed by a matching strength at the DisCos’ networks, and even at the GenCos’ stations, can bring succour to power consumers.
The Convener of NPCF, Michael Okoh, said just like Lagos, Kano is an industrial hub and the centre of commerce in Nigeria but that it does not have the right quantum of electricity the states and its adjourning states require to thrive.
He said if the federal government delivers such facilities to improve power supply, the economy would thrive and vices as well civil unrest in some of the places would end as people have thriving things to do.
Recall that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) is building the Ajaokuta-Kano-Kaduna gas pipeline, popularly called AKK. NNPC also seeks to build power plants in Kaduna and Kano just as President Muhammadu Buhari last month,
commissioned the exploration of oil in Kolmani River 2 oil well between Gombe and Bauchi state.
The oil project to be done by NNPC and the New Nigeria Development Company (NNDC) which is co-owned by the 19 northern states expect to build a refinery, power plant and a fertilizer plant.
Mr Okoh noted that all these investments would depend on a robust power transmission system around Kano and the northeast.
Okoh said: “It is laudable that TCN is starting ahead to install transformers, expand the lines, reconductor others and build new substations to accommodate the long-term investments. Up till now, there is no single power plant in Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi and the 10MW wind farm in Katsina is not a big power plant.
“TCN is on the right track and we urge them to accelerate these projects because all that the consumer needs is improved power supply. Government should do more of such investments and compel the Distribution Companies (DisCos) to do the same,” said Okoh.