Recapitalise Discos Or Risk Complete Power Sector Collapse – TCN
The Transmission Company of Nigeria has said the nation’s power sector will collapse completely if urgent steps are not taken to capitalise the distribution companies.
The government-owned TCN stated this while announcing a drop in the amount of electricity taken by Abuja Electricity Distribution Company on Saturday night.
It said, “As at 7:00pm on April 25, due to rainfall, Abuja dropped load and was off-taking only 0.5MW and 16MW from TCN’s 330kV substations in Katampe and Gwagwalada respectively.
“Meanwhile, the average load AEDC usually takes from Katampe and Gwagwalada Substations are 250MW and 150MW respectively.”
According to a statement issued by the company, load in Katampe substation was 288.0MW at 5:00pm, but dropped to 174MW at 6:00pm, 9.9MW at 6:30pm and 0.5MW at 7:00pm.
“The load offtake by AEDC then increased to 33.2MW at 8:39pm,” it said.
The TCN said all AEDC 33kV feeders were out due to poor distribution network, adding that this would certainly create high voltage that might damage TCN’s terminal equipment.
It said, “This kind of situation will be more dangerous if the rain falls in most parts of Nigeria.
“The TCN management is seriously disturbed because if nothing is done quickly to capitalise the Discos, the power sector will completely collapse.”
In its response, the AEDC admitted some of its 33kV feeders tripped on Saturday evening as the rain began.
“This is certainly not our desire as such interruptions would have impinged on the comfort of our customers, including TCN staff within Abuja. We regret this and we apologise for it.”
The Disco, however, said one principal factor that aided the tripping of feeders at any voltage level was the relay setting of such feeders.
It said, “For a very long time, the TCN has resisted a coordination of the setting of their relays in such a way that it will allow for professionally determined tolerance level.
“For reasons best known to them (TCN), this coordination has been resisted till now. Thus we ask – is it a case of funds or expertise?
“We have seen a consistent attempt by the TCN to engage in blame game and denigrate the Discos, especially AEDC, by diverting attention from the main issues.
“One of the weakest links in the value chain today is the TCN and this is manifested through the poor protection of its equipment.”
Citing an example, the AEDC said TCN’s 132kV line 2 from Katampe Transmission Station to Central Area had been off supply since June 2019.
“Despite several letters and verbal communication, this has not been resolved. As a result of this fault, AEDC is forced to embark on massive load-shedding of customers in the affected areas, which include Central Area, Maitama, Garki, Jabi and environs,” it added.