The French Development Agency (AFD) approved a total of $245 million for the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to undertake its expansion of Nigeria’s electricity grid at the northern ends of the country.
Mrs. Ndidi Mbah, TCN’s General Manager of Public Affairs, issued a statement which explained that the board of AFD approved the $245 million on December 20, 2018. She noted that the funding would enable TCN undertake the Northern Corridor Project under its Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Program (TREP).
Mbah revealed that apart from the AFD’s $245 million financial package for the project, the European Union (EU) had earlier approved a grant of €25 million for the project. She said the approval of the Northern Corridor Project by the board of AFD and European Union was a significant step towards establishing a modern electricity grid in Nigeria.
According to Mbah, while the TREP sought to rehabilitate, stabilise and provide necessary transmission redundancy consistent with international standard in the form of N-1, as well as expand the national grid to take at least 20,000 megawatts (MW) of generated electricity soon, its implementation has attracted significant support from multilateral and bilateral donors such as the AFD; World Bank; African Development Bank (AfDB); and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The General Manager said that the Northern Corridor Project would form the backbone for the West African Power Pool (WAPP) north core which would connect Nigeria; Niger Republic; Benin Republic and Burkina Faso on 330 kilovolt (kV) Double Circuit (DC) transmission line.
She also revealed that with the support of the Federal Ministry of Finance, the AFD was also assisting the TCN to construct the Sokoto-Kaura Namoda-Katsina 330kV DC line, which would lead to the closure of the 330kV loop and would cost $55 million.
Mbah also said that TCN has commenced preparation for the construction of the Sokoto-Kaura Namoda-Katsina line and the 330/132/33kV substation project at Kaura Namoda.
She further explained that the implementation of the TREP was on track and that contracts for the construction of five transmission substations in Abuja and new Lafiya to Abuja 330kV transmission line, also financed by AFD have all been signed.
It was noted that the Northern Corridor Project would enhance social economic development of the North-west by attracting investments in industries and commercial outfits to improve livelihoods in the regions.