By Etuka Sunday
The Federal Government of Nigeria, yesterday restated commitment towards the Implementation of the Master Plan of the West African Power Pool (WAPP) as well as the energy integration ideals of Economic Community Of West Affican States (ECOWAS).
This was stated by the Minister of Power, Nigeria, Engr. Sale Mamman at the 34th WAPP Coordination Meeting of Technical and Financial Partners in Abuja.
Represented by the Minister of State for Power, Nigeria,
Jedi Goddy Agba, Engr. Mamman said, several of WAPP priority projects involving Nigeria are already under implementation such as the Zungeru and Mambilla Hydropower Facilities as well as the 330 kilovolt Nigeria Niger Benin/Togo Burkina Interconnection Project.
He said, the preparation of the WAPP Median Backbone invoving Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire is currently under procurement and it is expected that the second transmission line from Nigeria to Benin/Togo shall be ready for financing next year.
According to him, “the development of the 330 kilovolt WAPP Eastern Backbone in Nigeria that shall be from Calabar to Jogana through Kashimbila shall commence soon. We shall therefore look forward to the usual solidarity and engagement with the Partners in the realisation of these projects.”
He said, the ECOWAS Master Plan for the Development of Regional Generation and Transmission Infrastructure that has identified the priority projects to be pursued by the WAPP for the period 2019 to 2033 has an investment requirement of about 36.4 billion US. Dollars.
“This Master Plan was adopted by the ECOWAS Ministers in charge of energy on December 4, 2018 and subsequently approved by the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government on December 22, 2018 through Supplementary Act.
“In addition, the ECOWAS Council of Ministers upon recommendation from the ECOWAS Ministers in charge of energy issued a Directive on the Securitization of Cross-Border Power Trade in the Regional Electricity Market in order to ensure that among others, liquidity shall be enhanced in the regional electricity market. The implementation of the Master Plan as well -as the Directive shall both require the close attention of the Technical and Financial Partners,” he said.
He commended the WAPP and the ECOWAS Commission for the very impressive progress being made since its establishment in 2006.
“From a Membership of 13 at its inception, the WAPP today has 35 Members comprising public and private electricity companies operating in all segments of the electricity supply value chain,” he said.
Earlier in his Remarks, the WAPP Chairperson, Mr Usman Gur Mohammed said, effort was being intensified to achieve full operationalisation of a regional electricity market within the ECOWAS sub-region.
“A market that shall yield socioeconomic benefits and uplift the well-being of the ECOWAS citizenry.
“A market that shall spur confidence and attract the private sector to take up investments without anxiety.
“A market that shall represent another positive step in the removal of borders among ECOWAS Member States.
“In order to ensure that these aspirations come to fruition there was need for collaboration to address the key underlying issues like: efficient regional power grid, the attainment of market functionality and the existence of the right know-how to manage both technical as well as market related issues,” he said.
Mr Mohammed said, “the construction of the WAPP Information and coordination Center in Benin continues to progress and its completion shall fundamentally change the landscape of the electricity business within ECOWAS given that significantly more options shall be available to meet the power supply needs of the Member States. This of course shall assume that stable, efficient, and integrated power system infrastructure shall be in place that shall support market functionality.
“We therefore look forward to the completion of commissioning in 2020 of the Cote d’Ivoire Liberia -Sierra Leone Guinea Interconnection Project as well as the OMVG Senegal The Gambia Guinea Bissau Guinea Interconnection project.
“The ongoing implementation of the Guinea Mali Interconnection as well as the Northcore Nigeria Niger -Togo/Benin Burkina Interconnection Project shall serve to further solidify the integrity of the interconnected system,” he said.
The Nigerian TCN boss said, it was incumbent that the Directive on the Securitization of Cross-Border Power Trade in the Regional Electricity Market that was adopted by the ECOWAS Council of Ministers in December 2018 be deployed and we count on you our Partners in supporting us in this objective.