TCN and AGIP are working together to extend electricity to Kwale and environs in Delta State as well as fortify some transmission towers legs on that axis.

The MD/CEO TCN, Mr. Usman Gur Mohammed made this known when the Management of Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited, led by its Chairman and Managing Director, Mr. Lorenzo Fiorillo, paid a courtesy visit to TCN recently in Abuja.

Welcoming the team, Mr. Usman noted that TCN had enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship with AGIP, saying that it is willing to move this relationship further with AGIP by working to build a 330/132kV Substation in Okpai and 132kV transmission line to Kwale, while also undertaking a study to close the loop from Okpai - Kwale - Ughelli on a 330kV transmission line.

Mr. Mohammed said the project is consistent with N-1 security standards set out in the grid code, as it would enable TCN evacuate power through the upcoming phase 2 generation output of Okpai and as well as through the proposed loop. He noted that TCN equally plans to upgrade the capacity of the single circuit 330kV transmission line from Ughelli to Benin to double circuit 330kV Quad line which will double the thermal rating capacity to about 3100MVA. Making it easier to evacuate the second phase of Agip (Okpai) and other generation clusters in the Southern region of the country.

The MD noted that a proposal for feasibility study had been submitted to USTDA through a consultant and that it is currently being reviewed.

Speaking on the project, the Vice Chairman/ MD of Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited (NAOC), Mr. Lorenzo Fiorillo noted that Agip had also conducted a network study recently on the Nigerian Grid and has delivered the final results of that study to the Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola. The study he noted contains information and technicalities needed to map and significantly improve the performance of the Grid. NAOC promised to continue to collaborate with TCN on such jointly beneficial projects. The MD stated that he understands that TCN would have its own roadmap and proposals but that both companies can still work together to integrate the plans into the project.

According to him, it is important to simulate what will happen when the planned improvement on the network is completed, noting that possible improvements were also factored in the network simulation study. The study he informed had already been presented internally to AGIP Management in their headquarters in Italy and that they were very excited with the results from the simulation study. He highlighted that AGIP having worked with TCN on the study is still ready to further develop and mature the study as time goes on, he explained that the study looked at a number of factors including the impact of population increase, migration and maximized access to energy, including needed intervention and cost estimates.

On the issue of Okpai phase II, Mr. Fiorillo said that the project is on schedule, and expectedly, the first phase of the project would be ready by the third quarter of 2019. On completion, there would be increase in capacity delivered power from Okpai IPP. The Okpai project he said is strategic not just for AGIP but also for the Federal Government and all the people involved in the project. He expressed satisfaction at the progress made so far in project execution, in spite of the financial framework which has not been fully concluded.

The NAOC MD said that with the ongoing developments, AGIP would also want to explore the possibility of new frameworks within the Nigerian Regulatory Premise such as the ancillary services and eligible customers’ regime. On the issue of fortification of TCN towers being handled by the company, The MD noted that work is ongoing in earnest with the intention of completing it before the raining season. TCN & AGIP staff plan to go on a joint inspection visit to the site of the towers reconstruction for progress review.