By Adedapo Adesanya
Members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have set a 2023 completion date for the 600 megawatts West African Power Pool (WAPP) project which costs $567.5 million.
Nigeria, a member, through the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), said the large electricity market was to allow reliable and affordable electricity supply to citizens within member states.
WAPP is a specialised institution of the ECOWAS and it covers 14 of the 15 countries of the regional economic community, including Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
Former Managing Director of the TCN, Mr Gur Mohammed, who was sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari last week, was the Chairman of WAPP, until he was relieved of his duties.
According to the TCN, with the framework of interconnecting grids, Cote d’Ivoire – Ghana – Benin/Togo – Nigeria will have the coastal backbone, while Ghana – Burkina Faso – Mali will share the inter-zonal hub, among others.
It then said that the infrastructure mainly comprises 875 kilometers of 330kV double circuit transmission lines from Birnin Kebbi (Nigeria) to Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) through Zabori (Niger) and Gorou Banda (Niger) and from Zabori (Niger) to Malanville (Benin).
In addition, the TCN noted that there is the 24km 225kV DC transmission lines in Burkina Faso, while the grid would be looped inside Ouagadougou town.
“Five substations (Zabori and Gorou Banda in Niger, Ouaga East and Ouaga South-East in Burkina Faso, Malanville in Benin) would be executed as part of the project and some additional Supervisory control and data acquisition ( SCADA) and static VAR compensator (SVC’s).
“In Nigeria, we have 62km transmission line, in Niger we have 420km, in Burkina Faso we have 381km and in Benin 12km, totalling 875km of 330kV transmission lines while in Burkina Faso we have 24km of 225kV transmission lines,” the regulator said.
The power project also has a rural electrification component to provide electricity to communities along the 330 KV lines, within a radius of 5km, in Burkina Faso and Niger. This will be implemented by their respective utilities, SONABEL and NIGELEC, it said.
It stressed that resettlement action plans had been designed to mitigate specific social impacts in all the participants’ countries, including communities whose lands and livelihood would be affected.
“In the same way, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the project has identified adverse environmental, health and security impacts that are being addressed by specific Environmental and Social Management Plans (ESMP) in each country,” it added.
The organisation noted that procurement had commenced with pre-qualification, adding that the process would be finalised towards end of this year.
“The works are estimated to last 30 months (2 years and half) and is therefore expected to be commissioned in the second quarter of 2023.
“The total cost of the project sums up to $567.5 million for the regional part, the Federal Government of Nigeria is contributing 0.9 percent, Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) 6 percent, African Development Bank (AfDB), 20.5 percent and the World Bank contributing 72.6 percent.
“In addition to these, the European Union is funding the Rural Electrification component of the project. Meanwhile, feasibility studies of this project was funded by NEPAD and IPPF,” it noted.
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