Why Nigeria exports electricity to Niger, Benin, Togo — TCN
As Nigerians continued to worry about the continued exportation of electricity to neghbouring countries amid shortage in national supply, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has stated that the deal provides avenue to earn more foreign exchange for national development.
The Managing Director of TCN, Sule Abdulaziz, who disclosed this at the Nigerian Power Consumers Forum, confirmed that, “Nigeria, through TCN, had been exporting electricity to Niger, Benin and Togo under a country-to-country arrangement.”
Abdulaziz, was quoted in a statement issued after the event by Lead, Advocacy Team, Nigerian Power Consumers Forum, Malam Yusuf Bako.
Abdulaziz, who is also the Chairman, Executive Board of West African Power Pool (WAPP), said the regional market would further enable generation companies (GenCos) to export power to more West African countries, which will be evacuated by TCN transmission infrastructure.
He said that through this exportation of power, the Federal Government could earn more foreign exchange for national development.
Abdulaziz said TCN has deployed a high technology scheme as a stop-gap solution called Internet of Thing (IoT) and Virtual Private Network (VPN) to improve the national grid.
The technology, according to him, would improve real-time operations of the national grid, pending the deployment of a long-term network automation system.
He said: “We have gone far with the procurement of new Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA)/Energy Management System (EMS) schemes, but we felt as a responsible company that is waiting for the new SCADA, we can deploy a stop-gap technology which we have understudied in other countries to be very efficient in boosting real-time electricity grid monitoring,” he said.
The TCN boss said that with the improved collaboration of other players in the electricity value chain, the company had been able to reduce cases of system collapse.
Abdulaziz disclosed further that TCN was building two new National Control Centres in Abuja and Osogbo.
He said that control centres would further improve the robustness of the Nigerian electricity grid.
According to him, the National Control Centre and other technology systems will improve the stability of the national grid.
“This preparation is coming at a time when Nigerian power operators are gearing up to take part in electricity export as soon as the Regional Electricity Market (REM) of the West African Power Pool (WAPP) is launched,” he said.
Convener of the Nigerian Power Consumers Forum (NPCF), Micheal Okoh, said only such critical power transmission grid investments, backed by a matching strength at the DisCos’ end can bring succour to power consumers.
Okoh said the stop-gap solution has been existing in some countries like Benin Republic, and that it was better than late for Nigeria.
“This has been long overdue, because if the grid or system operator does not have comprehensive operational data of the entire power grid, it is difficult to manage the fast-growing system,” he said.