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More Power To Benin Republic As FG, WAPP Begin Construction Of New Power Line

The Nigerian Federal Government in conjunction with the West African Power Pool have commenced the process for the construction of a second 330 kilovolt power transmission line that will serve to further increase the supply of electricity to the Republic of Benin.

electricity generation in nigeria
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola.

Nigeria has supplied electricity to the Community Electric du Benin, the power distribution firm of the Republic of Benin for some time and the close-neighbouring country owes several billions of Naira in electricity debt.

According to the projection of involved experts, the new 330KV transmission line that is currently being constructed by the Federal Government through the Transmission Company of Nigeria of Nigeria and the West African Power Pool will be ready to begin transmission by the year 2021

The interim Managing Director of the Transmission Company OF Nigeria (TCN), and the WAPP chairman, Usman Mohammed, announced on Friday, the commencement of the construction of the power line during the project’s Environmental and Social Impact Assembly Study in Abuja.

“The second 330KV Ikeja West transmission line to Sakete in Benin Republic is necessary as the first could soon be constrained by the demand for more power from the Nigerian grid increase,” Mohammed said.

Mohammed also told the participants at the event, according to the latest expansion drive at the TCN, that Nigeria’s transmission infrastructure had ceased to be as weak as it once was in the Power Sector value chain.

“The TCN is no longer the weakest link in the power value chain as it is fast-tracking the implementation of many power projects. The transmission, rehabilitation and expansion programme seeks to expand the grid to about 20,000 megawatts in the next three years,” he said.

Mr. Usman Mohammed included that the TCN had begun the installation of transmission transformers across the country, pointing out that three out of the said power transmission equipment had been installed in Lagos last week, and that two more had been scheduled for installation in the Northern region of the country, while another three were going to be installed in the region of Port Harcourt soon.

According to Mohammed, the WAPP project was supported by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NPA), and the African Development Bank (ADP), adding that the ESIA study would be conducted in six months, after which the construction of the power transmission line would last over the period of another 24 months and will be expected to be ready by year 2021.

Louis Edozien, the Permanent Secretary in the power arm of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, stressed the need for the Community Electric du Benin to immediately settle the electricity debt that it had accumulated.

“The electricity that we have already supplied is not paid for. I use this platform to emphasise to the CEB that the debt that has accumulated needs to be settled quickly. It helps us explain to Nigerians why we should expand the supply by doing this kind of project. A mechanism must be in place to make sure the debt does not balloon again,” he stated.

While expressing the intended support of the Federal Ministry of Power, as well Nigeria’s ability to deliver on the completion of the construction of the power transmission line, Edozien said that power generation companies could now suppply up to 7,000 Mega Watts of electricity, but noted that the distribution companies could only distribute about 4,600 Mega Watts of the power.

The Director-General of the Communaute Electrique du Benin (CEB), DR. Karimou Sika, expressed his appreciation to the Nigerian Government and the WAPP for the construction project and stated that it would provide an opportunity to sustain the Republic of Benin power system and ensure an adequate supply of electric to his country.

For more power and housing related stories, see here

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