The U.S. Trade and Development Agency on December 10 and 11, signed memoranda of cooperation with the Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) and Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC), who together serve nearly one million customers in the Lagos metropolitan area.
The agreements formalize the Agency’s partnership with the recently privatized Distribution Companies, both of which previously participated in a USTDA-sponsored reverse trade mission that introduced them to U.S. technologies to help reduce electricity losses on their grids.
“The Agency is pleased to strengthen its cooperation with our Eko and Ikeja partners, who have already purchased U.S. technologies that can help them improve power distribution,” said USTDA Director Leocadia I. Zak. “The next phase of our partnership will introduce them to U.S. industry experts who can assist them in developing comprehensive plans to modernize their electricity networks.”
The memoranda of cooperation were signed by the Director of EKEDC’s Board, George Etomi, and IKEDC’s CEO, Abiodun Ajifowobaje. Under the agreements, USTDA is sponsoring a feasibility study that will develop a roadmap for implementing smart grid solutions throughout the Distribution Companies’ power networks. The study will assess the technological, economic, regulatory and financial frameworks required to expand and enhance the networks by focusing on business process reengineering and distribution automation. U.S. financial services firm Delphos International (Washington, DC) will also provide recommendations on how the Distribution Companies can collaborate to ensure network interoperability.
USTDA’s cooperation with Eko and Ikeja supports the goals of Power Africa, a U.S. government-led initiative to increase electricity access across sub-Saharan Africa. It also seeks to address one of the primary challenges of energy access on the continent: the need to improve the delivery and distribution of installed power, in addition to generating new power.
As USTDA has long recognized the importance of improving electricity transmission and distribution, the Agency has been working to introduce its African partners to U.S. smart grid solutions that can reduce technical power losses and increase service reliability. This includes a project with another Nigerian partner, the Benin Electricity Distribution Company, to develop an investment plan to update their power network.