North Core 330kv Transmission Line
- Reference: P-Z1-FAC-003
- Approval date: 11/03/2014
- Start date: 15/12/2014
- Appraisal Date: 14/05/2013
- Status: OngoingOnGo
- Implementing Agency: ECONOMIC COMMISSION OF WEST AFRICAN STATES - ECOWAS
- Location: Bénin
1. Physical Project
The North Core is a 330 kV transmission line from Birnin Kebbi (Nigeria) to Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) through Zabori (Niger) and Niamey (Niger) with T-off to Malanville (Benin). The estimated investment costs are around 550 million USD for the 853 km of lines and five associated substations. The project comprises among others:
"Construction and/or expansion of the 330 kV Birnin Kebbi (Nigeria) Substation "Construction of a 330 kV transmission line between Birnin Kebbi (Nigeria) and Niamey (Niger) "Construction of a 330/132 kV Substation at Niamey (Niger) "Construction of a 330 kV Substation and/or 330/132 kV Substation at Zabori (Niger) "Construction of a 330 kV transmission line between Niamey (Niger) and Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) "Construction of a 330/132 kV and/or 330/225 kV Substation at Ouagadougou "Construction of a 330 kV line from Zabori (Niger) to Malanville (Benin) "Construction or extension of a 330/161 kV Substation at Malanville "Installation of SCADA and Fibre Optic systems
The scope to the study is firstly to update the feasibility study financed by the four involved utilities in 2007 and prepare functional bidding documents for the construction of a 330 kV transmission line from Birnin Kebbi (Nigeria) to Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) through Niamey (Niger) with T-with T-off to Malanville (Benin). Secondly, it is to update the Line Route and Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) studies of the line as proposed in the feasibility study.
The two studies will be procured in parallel, but will be conducted by two different Consultants because the same Consultant can't evaluate the environmental impacts of his own recommended feasibility study objectively. The two Consultants will be requested to coordinate and cooperate closely. The studies will be initiated in second quarter 2014 and be finalized before October 2015.
The WAPP Secretariat will be the Executing Agency and the study will be implemented by a Project Implementation Unit (PIU). WAPP will designate a coordinator to be supported by experts in the fields of legal, procurement and accounting. Each of the four utilities will also designate a Project Manager, and the Ministry of Energy and Environment in each country will appoint focal points.
To update the previous Feasibility and ESIA studies made by Fichtner in 2007
4.Rationale for the interconnection
The rationale behind the 330 kV transmission line can be summarised as follows:
"Regional backbone grid integration providing increased meshing of the networks; "Improved system reliability, flexibility of operation and stability of the networks with fewer power cuts and less load-shedding; "Increased regional power exchanges between Nigeria, Niger, Benin/Togo, Ghana and Burkina Faso; "Facilitation of power through-put into the regional grid from other planned generation sources in the West Africa Region; "Spreading of Low Cost electricity over the region allowing Utilities to maintain or lower their tariffs for life improvement for the inhabitants and small and medium industrial development improvement;
Regional grid integration is currently developing very fast in West Africa. The following interconnecting links are being planned for the nearest future in West Africa in the framework of WAPP. Please refer to the attached map in Appendix 2.
WAPP is currently integrating the networks by implementing the following transmission lines: "225 kV Bolgatanga (Ghana) - Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) "330 kV Volta (Ghana) - Lome C (Togo) - Sakete (Benin) "225 kV Han (Ghana) - Bobo Dioulasso (Burkina Faso) - Sikasso-Bamako (Mali) "225 kV Cote d'Ivoire - Liberia - Sierra Leone - Guinea
As explained above the power exchange from Nigeria to the three other countries interconnected by the line is estimated at 560 MW in 2026.
Hydropower and power from thermal plants in Nigeria is currently least cost in the region, and the North Core will allow the three other countries to have access to this least cost power in the region.
2. Project Benefits
The proposed project will permit to substitute expensive diesel generation with low cost thermal and hydropower. The alternative costs range between 34 USc/kWh in Niger, 24 USc/kWh in Burkina Faso and 28 USc/kWh in Northern Benin. So the economic and financial benefits are very tangible for the all three countries.
Environmentally, in 2007 Fichtner evaluated the project to have minor negative impacts, mainly related to the towers becoming visible in the landscape. The estimated overall CO2 emissions savings with all the new generation plants in the ECOWAS region is ca. 19 mio. t-CO2. The contribution of Nigeria alone is estimated at ca. 9mio. t-CO2, almost half of the total reduction of the region. As this project will have part of the power supply from new generation in Nigeria, part of the Nigeria CO2 reduction is thus associated with this project and can be considered as a result of the project itself. Therefore it can be considered that this project has a positive contribution to CO2 emissions reduction assuming that the power made available in Niger, Benin and Burkina Faso is substituting diesel generation.
It will further contribute to reduce deforestation in the region by substitution of wood-fuels.
CHIRWA Mtchera Johannes - IPPF