By Bisi Adewumi
The Federal Government, the European Union (EU), and the French Development Agency (AFD), have signed a 25 million agreement to boost power supply in the Northwest.
According to the Embassy of France in Abuja, the move was made to witness the development of access to electricity by the Northwest region.
The Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, and the Country Director of AFD in Nigeria, Xavier Muron, signed the agreement in Abuja.
The Ambassador of France to Nigeria, Emmanuelle Blatmann, and the Head of Cooperation at the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms. Cecile Tassin-Pelzer were all in attendance at the ceremony.
“The Northern Corridor Project, being implemented by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), is meant to strengthen a low-carbon economic growth in West Africa by improving the quality of the electricity network in Nigeria and supporting the development of a regional electricity market under the West African Power Pool (WAPP),” the Embassy of France said.
The Embassy of France listed the objectives of the project, which are in line with the Nigerian Energy Transition Plan (ETP) to include reinforcing globally, the northwest network and develop access to electricity for the population; help evacuate and distribute the solar generated power from future projects in the North and participate in the WAPP interconnection project with Niger Republic.
“The project will build more than 800km of 330 kV double circuit transmission lines and construct or upgrade 13 substations.
“The grant agreement signed today represents the EU’s contribution to the project, while the AFD contribution of 202 million was signed in December 2020. The total cost of the project is around 238 million euros, including a 12 million euros contribution from TCN,” the Embassy of France also said.
The French Embassy added that expected impacts will be 5GW additional evacuation capacity to be created under the project, potential transmission of 17TWh additional electricity every year, possibility of several millions of people to have access to electricity and a better electricity service on a short term, and the creation of 600 jobs – 500 during the construction phase and 100 in the operation phase.
In his remarks, Agba said: “This project will help TCN to operationalize its “Transmission Expansion Plan” through the construction of additional Transmission Lines and Substations across nine states in the northern part of the country : Niger, Kebbi, Sokoto, Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi and Nasarawa.”
Muron also highlighted the importance of the project as a technical enabler for the integration into the grid of the expected solar farms in the Northwest.
He noted that poor transmission networks have been a significant bottleneck in many countries for the achievement of mix diversification.
Batman hunted: “France is committed to helping Nigeria achieve its commitments on climate change in line with the Paris agreement and she welcomes this Team Europe piece of work to address it.”
Tassin-Pelzer who spoke on behalf of the European Union said: “We appreciate this Team Europe collaboration with the Government of Nigeria, which is a concrete example of how the EU Global Gateway can contribute to major investments in infrastructure development.”