Sustainability issues may derail FG’s 20-year transmission master plan
by KELECHI EWUZIE
February 13, 2018 | 12:45 am| | | Start Conversation
Industry experts have warned that the 20 year transmission master plan put together by Transmission Company of Nigeria targeting a wheeling capacity of 10,000 megawatts of electricity by 2020 may just be another pipe dream unless a concrete sustainability blue print is implemented.
They observed that the more complicated the power sector is, the more problems the country get, adding that Nigeria’s power sector is on the brink of collapse as its dysfunctional and foundation related issues are yet to be addressed.
According to them, “As laudable as these plans are, the power sector is full of complicated policies that do not address the root problems.
Transmission Company of Nigerian only recently unveiled a 20-year transmission master plan that will among other things push the wheeling capacity up to 28,000MW by year 2035.
Usman Gur Mohammed, Interim Managing Director of TCN, said the transmission capacity would reach 15,000MW with 1,540MW marked for export in 2025, adding that by 2030, the electricity grid will have a 23,000MW wheeling capacity and 28,000MW by 2035 from which 2,000MW will be available for export.
The operators said Nigerian government is no stranger to making good and long term plans in practically all sectors of the economy but always lack the will power to implement such plans.
Babatunde Fashola, minister of Power Works and Housing however, reiterated that the plan was to ensure that in future, there would not any excuse that they would be able to evacuate stranded power generated.
“In future, we should no longer have story of stranded power. That is power that is produced but not utilised because of no transmission and evacuation means”, he said.
Analysts in their various summations however insisted that some of the problems noticed in the power sector are man-made.
They maintain that the lack of continuity of programme by successive governments over the years have clogged the wheel of progress for the power sector.
“We do not plan ahead, when other countries are planning 50 or 100 years ahead, we overload a grid before building a new one”, they said.
According to them vandalism is also a big problem in the power sector as some Nigerians intentionally sabotage equipment and this affects power transmission and delivery processes.
In their views ,the 20 years transmission plan is a step in the right direction by TCN as it will go a long way to liberalise the market.
To achieve sustainable improvement in the nations’ power sector, they agreed that there should be concerted efforts by managers of the economy to implement the 20 years master plan to achieve results, adding that where the foregoing, is done, the country should expreince sustainable incremental electric power supply which becomes stable.
Joy Ogaji, Executive Secretary, Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC) recently said the energy sector is currently plagued with major inadequacies such as weak and dilapidated transmission and distribution infrastructures.
Ogaji further said the power sector is a value chain where all players must contribute their quota to ensure there is electricity for all.
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