The Federal Government has declared that gas alone cannot solve the country’s electricity challenges.
Disclosing this at the just concluded 2016 Annual Conference of the National Association of Energy Correspondents in Lagos state, Minister Of Power, Works And Housing, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, said that efforts are in place to encourage embedded power adding that work is in progress to revive other sources of power generation, rather than the current dependency on gas-to-power.
The Ministry has advised electricity distribution companies, DISCOs, to invest in embedded generation in the areas of their network coverage. Represented by the Acting Chairman of Niger Delta Power Holding Company, NDPHC, Chinedu Ugbo, Fashola, stated that coal should form a large part of the country’s future electricity mix because gas alone cannot tackle the decline in power generation.
According to him, “I am pleased to say that the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading, NBET, is working on a suitable tariff for coal-to-power that will form the basis of a Power Purchase Agreement, PPA.
“Although you may not see it, but it is at the point of negotiating tariff with power providers that Government, through NBET and Nigeria Electricity Regulation Commission, NERC, begins to protect the interest of consumers. “Gas is our most reliable source of power, yes, but it is only one solution among many other under-utilised solutions.”
He explained that Nigeria has no coal-fired power plants and negligible coal production, though it has coal reserves in Kogi, Benue and Enugu states, according to recent data.
To this end, the government projected that coal is expected to generate 1,000 Megawatt, MW, of power by 2020 to supplement other fuels currently used in power generation.
At least two projects have been proposed in Enugu state by Nigerian and Chinese investors for 500-1000 MW, both of which would require locally-mined coal. Fashola, further stated: “Mambila Power Station, for example, is likely to be our most defining in the road to incremental power. Situated in Taraba State, it will potentially add 3,000MW to the grid and yet this is a Hydro-Electric project, not gas.”