The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) says the Board of French Development Agency (AFD) has approved $245 million for the implementation of transmission projects in northern Nigeria.
Mrs Ndidi Mbah, TCN General Manager, Public Affairs, who made this known yesterday in Abuja said that the fund was approved last month.
TCN has continued to implement its Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme (TREP) aimed at rehabilitating, stabilising, and providing necessary redundancy consistent with international transmission standard of N-1.
The TREP was also designed to expand the national grid to at least 20,000MW.
The implementation of TREP has attracted significant support from multilateral and bilateral donors never witnessed in the history of the nation’s power sector.
Key international donors supporting TREP include the French Development Agency, World Bank, African Development Bank and Japan International Cooperation.
According to Mbah, the European Union (EU) earlier approved a grant of €25 million for part construction of the northern corridor transmission project under the AFD support programme.
She said the approval of the northern corridor project by the board of AFD and the EU was a significant step toward establishing a modern grid in Nigeria.
Mrs Mbah said that the northern project, expected to form the backbone for the West African Power Pool (WAPP) North Core Projects, would connect Nigeria, Niger, Benin and Burkina Faso on 330kv Double Circuit (DC) transmission lines.
“It is also expected to construct the Kainji-Birnin-Sokoto 330kV DC line and the Katsina-Daura-Gwiwa-Jogana-Kura 330kV DC line.
“The project will reconstruct one of the Shiroro-Kaduna 330kV single circuit transmission lines into 330kV quad line which will be the first of its kind in Nigeria.
“The project will construct 330/132/33kV substations in Sokoto, Daura and Jogana-Kano and 132/33kV substations at Birnin Gwari, Argungu and Lambata in Niger State.
“It will also rehabilitate Jebba and Kainji switch yards to ensure adequate capacity to evacuate Mainstream’s energy expansion plans,” Mbah said.
The TCN spokesperson said with the support of the Federal Ministry of Finance, AFD was also assisting with $55 million dollars for the construction of Sokoto-Kaura Namoda-Katsina 330kV DC line.
“TCN has commenced preparation of the Sokoto-Kaura Namoda-Katsina line and 330/132/33kV substation project at Kaura Namoda.
“The project, when completed will significantly improve bulk power supply to all the states in the North-West and parts of the North-Central states.”
The northern projects, Mbah said would enhance the social economic development of the North-West by attracting the needed investments such as industries and commercial outlets.
“The implementation of the project will equally create direct and indirect employment opportunities for thousands of Nigerians.
“The management of TCN appreciates AFD’s efforts at funding transmission infrastructure in Nigeria, particularly for being the first donor to support green field transmission infrastructure in the country.
“The project is expected to be implemented without delay.”
Mbah assured that implementation of the TCN’s TREP was on track, saying that contracts for construction of five transmission substations in Abuja and new Lafiya-Abuja 330kV transmission line also financed by the AFD had been signed.