THE Transmission Company of Nigeria has announced the acquisition of a software worth N471 million to enable it monitor activities on power transmission lines and other electricity distribution infrastructure in the country. Mike Ezeudenna, general manager, design and construction, TCN, said the software would also help in the accurate evacuation of power by the company.
He made the disclosure at a meeting in Abuja with officials of Penuel Consulting, the US-based engineering and aerial mapping firm providing the technology. “This meeting is aimed at bringing ICT to bear in managing transmission lines, right of way, power evacuation and addressing challenges that are associated with power in Nigeria. In other words, you can sit in the office and monitor what is happening on the transmission lines. It makes it easy and faster to address challenges like tower collapses and vegetation growth that can breach your lines. It is very important to have the right software and data that can be used to check changes on the lines and make decision-taking easy for you,” he said.
Ezeudenna said when completed, the software would make things to be done faster and more efficiently because of its improved technology. “When you have the coordinates of each power structure, if there is collapse, you don’t need to go far. You can look at it from your location and call the necessary persons to locate the place. It makes it easy for you to repair or replace any damaged part of the transmission line. So, we are trying to find out how best we can use the data they (consultants) have given us.”
Timmy Fadiora, principal officer, Penuel Consulting, said the essence of the project with the Power Holding Company of Nigeria and the TCN was to be able to conduct aerial mapping of the entire transmission lines in Nigeria and their substations. “This is happening for the first time in Nigeria. It is not just to do the aerial mapping, but to actually get the geo-reference, the exact locations of each of those lines and each of those substations. The importance of it is that it is going to help the TCN in identifying the areas where you have energy losses on your lines. Because, when you say that you generate 4,000 megawatts, by the time you transmit and distribute that to reach the users, there will be losses in the lines,” he said.
According to him, when the exact location, site analysis and the terrain of an area is known, TCN will be able to minimise energy losses along the transmission and distribution lines. “Secondly, it also helps in the right of way in corridor encroachment. There are two types of encroachment. You have the vegetation encroachment and the people and buildings encroachment. With the one we have done, TCN will be able to identify the exact locations of those encroachments and be able to mitigate them. It is important to know that most of the power cuts that you have are caused by vegetation.”
Tackling Meter Supply Problem in Kano
IN order to abridge the metering gap in Kano State, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, needs a total of N7.9 billion to supply meters to the state. According to the commission, 269,524 residence of Kano had been metered, while 204 were given as the number of unmetered maximum demand customers.
The NERC, said while inaugurating its Kano Forum Office, to handle all complaints by electricity consumers in Kano, Jigawa and Katsina states, that the forum office would redress customer grievances that could not be resolved at the electricity distribution companies in the respective states.
Mohammed Wudil, member, House of Representatives committee on power, said while inaugurating the forum that it was necessitated by numerous complaints from electricity consumers. He added that plans were on the way to make the unit more efficient. Wudil urged electricity consumers in Kano, Jigawa and Katsina to make good use of the forum as a court, promising to remain resolute in ensuring that the road map on power reform passed in 2010 was achieved.
On his part, Rabiu Bichi, secretary to Kano State government, said Kano is the second most industrialised state in Nigeria apart from Lagos and should be given the desired attention. “But we, however, observed that the distribution of power is in favour of Lagos. Therefore, the forum should look into it while the state government meets with the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, to ensure that the issue is addressed fully,” he said.
Bichi decried the closure of many industries in the state due to lack of electricity. He said the poor electricity situation in the state has brought about an increase in the rate of unemployment. He noted that the Kano State government had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a German company to generate 15 megawatts of solar energy in the state. “Another 35 megawatts is to be generated from Shalawa and Tiga Dams. With these on board, and also what we hope to get from Kano DISCO, we are sure that many industries will function again.”
Eko Gas Initiative
THE Lagos State government has unveiled plans to ensure that at least one million people in the state begin to utilise Liquefied Petroleum Gas. The initiative, tagged ‘Eko Gas’ is part of the state’s clean energy programme aimed at encouraging LPG utilisation.
Taofeeq Tijani, Lagos State commissioner for energy and mineral resources, said the programme aims to make about one million people to use LPG, otherwise known as cooking gas in the next five years. According to him, about 20 percent of the cost of cylinder would be eased by the government in order to encourage Lagosians to use LPG.
The commissioner emphasised the efficiency of the product and integrity of the scheme, adding that the state government had sought approval from the Department of Petroleum Resources, and had also concluded arrangements with major stakeholders in the sector. He lamented a situation whereby Nigeria is among the highest producers of LPG in Africa, but also the lowest consumer of the product. “This is a very unique opportunity for Lagosians to switch from kerosene and firewood, which are not environmentally friendly, to a clean energy fuel,” he said.
On the availability of gas for refilling, he said the state government had made provisions for skid tanks, which would be located in strategic places across the state for consumers to easily refill their cylinders. Besides, he said the cylinders could be refilled based on affordability of consumers and will be cheaper compared to kerosene.
Compiled by Anayo Ezugwu
— Jun. 24, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT