Electricity: TCN seeks regulation to protect use of transmission equipment by DisCos
Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has called for a regulation by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to protect its transformers in the event of any damage caused by Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos).
TCN’s Managing Director, Mr Mohammed Usman, made the call in an interview with journalists in Abuja on Sunday. Mohammed said the inability of the DisCos to invest in their distribution infrastructure had resulted in the use of some of TCN’s transformers by DisCos to supply electricity.
This, he said had sometimes resulted in the breakdown of the transformers.
“Under the grid code, everybody has their responsibility; we have our responsibility; and distribution companies have their responsibility. And where they fail to invest, it is not our problem that they fail to invest, but their lack of investment is affecting our system when we are connected to them. And that is why I am telling NERC that we are writing a petition that those areas where they are taking supply directly from our transformers because they have failed to build their own injection sub-station”.
“We are going to ask NERC to put it as a rule to say that if our transformers get spoilt because of the DisCos’ failure to invest, they are going to compensate us. Because if they connect directly from our station without passing through their injection station; if there is a fault on their line, it will hit our transformers directly. Sometimes, they will come and say the fault has been cleared and TCN will restore supply, while they did not truly clear the fault and then that will scatter our transformer. We are saying, if such thing happens, we are going to write a petition asking NERC to do a regulation that will protect us.’’
Mohammed added that given the presence of several uncompleted transmission projects by some contractors in the past, TCN management was taking over the expired contracts.
“You know those contracts actually, have expired; most of those contracts are contracts for supply and installation of 330Kv sub-station and they are supposed to last for 18 months. The one in Damaturu was awarded in 2006, it is about 12 years, this contract has expired”.
“The problem TCN had in the past was that it awarded contracts to incompetent companies, but under current TCN management we have changed the way we do contract now. Most of our major contracts now, we have to do pre qualification, you have to be qualified first before you can even tender, so this kind of problem that we had will not continue. But some of the contractors that are not very difficult; we will work with them to complete the job. But if it is a contractor like the contractor of Damaturu sub-station that is a troublemaker, you have to exercise your right under the contract. So, we have so many of these contracts all over the place, and we are handling it”.
Mohammed said TCN had attracted significant amount of investments and that international donors were willing to provide more funding to executive more transmission projects.
This, he attributed to series of audits reports conducted by the current management of the company.