WAPP Proposes $156m Budget for 913km Power Project
By Faridat Salifu
The West African Power Pool (WAPP) has unveiled a $156 million annual budget for the 330kV North Core power transmission project, with the objective of connecting Nigeria to four other West African countries.
This ambitious 913km project, estimated at approximately $568 million, involves the construction of around 880km of 330kV and 33km of 225kV high-voltage transmission lines.
The transmission lines will establish connections between Nigeria, Niger, Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, and Togo.
During the 7th meeting of the Joint Supervision Committee held in Abuja, Mr. Siengui Apollinaire, the Secretary-General of WAPP, highlighted that regional insecurity has posed challenges, causing delays in the project’s completion.
The primary goal of the North Core project is to facilitate energy exchanges in the sub-region, provide technical assistance to foster commercial exchange agreements among participating countries, and expand access to electricity for populations residing along the transmission line.
Despite the challenges, there is a shared commitment to addressing these issues and completing the project by 2025.
Engr. Sule Ahmed Abdulaziz, the Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria and WAPP Chairman, emphasized the strategic importance of the North Core Project in addressing the electricity supply-demand imbalance within the ECOWAS region.
He noted that the project goes beyond building transmission lines, encompassing the construction or extension of substations and incorporating advanced technologies like Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems and fiber optic cables.
Funded by the World Bank, African Development Bank, European Union, and Nigeria, the project aims to facilitate efficient energy trade, encourage commercial exchange agreements, and provide an outlet for Nigeria’s power generation companies to utilize their over 13,000MW installed capacity.
The successful realization of this project hinges on the continued commitment of all stakeholders, particularly in addressing security challenges within the project area.