By Adedapo Adesanya
The West African Power Pool (WAPP) reiterated its intention to interconnect Nigeria, Niger, Burkina Faso and Benin with transmission lines before the end of 2023.
This followed resolutions taken at the 52nd WAPP Board Meeting which took place this weekend as part of the 16th session of the WAPP General Assembly in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
Speaking at the event, the Chairman of the Board, who is also the Acting Managing Director / CEO of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Mr. Sule Abdulaziz, reiterated the pool’s commitment to the completion of the WAPP North Core, a line project that will link Nigeria to three countries.
Mr. Abdullaziz said that the WAPP North Core project which aims to interconnect Nigeria, Niger, Burkina Faso and Benin is in the implementation phase with the ongoing procurement process.
The project is expected to be completed by 2023 and is part of WAPP’s efforts to integrate the power systems of West African countries by completing priority projects that would ensure that the 14 countries on the ECOWAS mainland are ultimately interconnected.
In a statement, other projects underway in the West African sub-region, he said, include the construction of the 330 kV Volta (Ghana) interconnection line to Lomé ‘C’ (Togo) – Sakété (Benin) which has been completed and will soon be under tension and WAPP Côte d’Ivoire – Sierra Leone – Guinea (CLSG) whose project will also be commissioned very soon.
He noted that WAPP has continued to make giant strides towards the effective operationalization of the ECOWAS Regional Electricity by continuing to harmonize market rules and agreement of market players on regulatory issues.
This, he said, will ensure flexibility in the power system and increase business opportunities for market participants, among others.
Mr Abdullaziz instructed members with continued determination to achieve the set goals of the WAPP, saying that while much has been accomplished under the current leadership of the Pool, there is still a long way to go until the objective of the founding fathers is achieved.
For his part, WAPP General Secretary Siengui Appolinaire at the hybrid meeting urged members to be resilient.
According to him, despite the challenges, “we must at all costs continue our journey towards the ultimate goal of our institution, which is the establishment of a competitive regional electricity market. We absolutely must redouble our efforts in this direction, the objective being more than ever within reach.
He indicated that the new rotating members of the Executive Council, who will have to sit for the next two years, and that a new vice-president will be elected, since the former vice-president, Mr. Hamidou Traoré has been re-appointed.
Speaking also, Mr. Baba Ahmed Coulibaly, the general manager of Sonabel, the electricity company hosting the meeting, called for more commitments, saying that “in our sub-region, the challenges of the electricity sector are so important that we must rigorously ensure that decisions are implemented on time.