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FG eyes 1,268mw from new eight power plants

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The Federal Government is expecting 1,268 megawatts of power from the concession and development of eight brown and green field hydropower projects constructed through public private partnerships.

It was gathered that three of the power projects were already given to concessionaires, while the Federal Executive Council had approved the concession of another of the power projects.

In a February 2024 document obtained from the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation in Abuja on Friday by our correspondent, it was observed that while three of the hydropower projects had been completed, the remaining five were in various stages of completion.

The document was presented to the National Council on Water Resources and Sanitation at its 30th regular meeting by the Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Joseph Utsev.

The country has been struggling with poor power generation and supply, as electricity firms generate and distribute between 3,000MW and 4,000MW for a population of over 200 million people.

The abysmal electricity supply situation grew worse since January this year after suppliers of gas to gas-fired thermal power plants stopped supplying the product to the plants due to the $1.3 billion debt of the electricity generating plants.

To ameliorate the crisis, the Federal Government has been investing in hydropower plants that do not use gas, but are run by water-powered turbines.

The water resources minister, in the latest presentation from his ministry, stated that there had been tremendous progress in the brown and green field hydropower development through public private partnerships.

“We have conclusively concessioned some projects while still developing others through various PPP models itemised as follows: concession of the 40MW Dadinkowa Hydropower Project in Gombe State. We have attained financial closure and the plant is operational, thereby, stabilising the transmission voltage of the North-East of Nigeria.

“Concession of the 30MW Gurara Hydropower Plant in Kaduna State up to financial closure and the plant, which is under rehabilitation, will commence commercial operation in the third quarter of the year 2024.

“Concession of the 40MW Kashimbila Hydropower Plant in Taraba State. The Federal Executive Council approval has been secured, the concession agreement executed and the commencement fee paid by the concessionaire to the special concession account as approved by the Federal Ministry of Finance Budget and National Planning,” Utsev said.

Outlining other projects, the Minister said, “Development of 360MW Gurara Phase II Hydropower Project in Niger State (engineering, procurement and construction contract awarded and FEC approval for the concession of operation and maintenance of the power plant through PPP model secured).

“Development of 136 MW Manya and 182MW Bawaku Hydropower Projects in Taraba and Benue states respectively. This is at the procurement stage and ready to proceed to the Request for Proposal stage.

“Development of 460MW Katsina-Ala Hydropower Project in Benue. This is also at the procurement stage; proceeding to the request for proposal stage/negotiation with the proponent.

“Development of 20MW Farin Ruwa Hydropower Plant Project in Nasarawa State. Advertisement of request for qualification has been placed in the Federal Tenders Journal and national newspapers for value for money to the government.”

Aside from giving the power plants to concessionaires, in a bid to grow the country’s electricity output, the Federal Government had also been making efforts to sell some power plants to raise funds and boost power production.

For instance, on January 24, 2024, it was exclusively reported that the Federal Government, through the Bureau of Public Enterprises, was carrying out transactions for the sale of five power plants under the National Integrated Power Projects for about $1.15 billion.

The report stated that though sources familiar with the development explained that the cost of the plants should exceed $5 billion based on international benchmarks, they revealed that the BPE was planning to sell the facilities at a price that was a little above $1.1 billion.

The acting Director-General, BPE, Ignatius Ayewoh, had confirmed to our correspondent in a brief telephone conversation that “the transaction is ongoing,” adding that “it is not concluded.”

The BPE boss did not disclose the cost for the five plants, as he stated that he was in a meeting and would not be able to give additional details at the time.

However, impeccable sources at the bureau had named the five power plants to include the 434 megawatts gas-fired Geregu II power plant, located in Kogi; 451MW Omotosho II plant in Ondo; and 750MW Olorunshogo II plant in Ogun State.

Others include the 563MW Odukpami power plant in Calabar, Cross River State; and the 451MW Benin-Ihovbor plant in Edo State.

It was gathered that the Omotosho plant, which has four power-generating turbines, would be sold at about $85m; while the Olorunsogo NIPP with also four turbines would cost $170 million.

Energy

Kyari emphasises role of gas in driving economic growth, industrial development

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The Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd.) Mr. Mele Kyari, has reiterated the crucial role of natural gas in fueling economic growth and industrial development in Nigeria.

Kyari spoke at the public presentation of the book “The Rise of Gas: From Gaslink to the Decade of Gas” authored by Engr. Charles A. Osezua, which highlighted gas’ global acceptance as a crucial energy source that sustains economic growth and drives industrial activities.

Represented by NNPC Ltd.’s Head of Relationship and Stakeholder Management, Mrs. Oluwakemi Olumuyiwa, the GCEO also emphasised the importance of documenting Nigeria’s gas sector.

The GCEO underscored the significance of prioritising natural gas production and supply, particularly in the context of geopolitical dynamics and energy security in the global economy.

With Nigeria boasting substantial gas reserves exceeding 200 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) and the potential to reach 600 Tcf, the GCEO said it is pertinent that Nigeria leverages the gas resource for sustainable development, energy security, and job creation.

He noted that the book aligns with the Federal Government’s “Decade of Gas” initiative, aimed at optimising Nigeria’s abundant gas reserves for both domestic consumption and international export.

Kyari added that, as a key stakeholder, NNPC Ltd. has played a leading role in advancing the “Decade of Gas” agenda through strategic investments in critical gas infrastructure such as pipelines and processing facilities.

In his remarks, the author, Engr. Charles Osezua, who described the unveiling of “The Rise of Gas” as his contribution to Nigeria’s energy literature, expressed gratitude to the NNPC Ltd. for its support towards the book launch.

Osezua said NNPC Ltd.’s participation at the occasion underscores the company’s commitment to fostering knowledge sharing and innovation within the gas industry.

Also speaking, Chairman of the Impact Investors Foundation and former Group Executive Director of NNPC, Engr. Afolabi Oladele, lauded the book for its comprehensive insights into the gas value chain, saying it will be relevant to policymakers amid the global energy transition.

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Energy

Low crude production responsible for revenue loss —PETAN

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The Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria has claimed that the country is losing a lot of revenue daily due to its inability to ramp up crude oil production.

The Chairman of PETAN, Wole Ogunsanya, stated this in Lagos recently when the representatives of the Association of Energy Correspondents of Nigeria, led by its Chairman, Ugo Amadi, paid a courtesy visit to PETAN.

He reiterated the association’s resolve to support the efforts of the President Bola Tinubu-led administration toward increasing Nigeria’s oil and gas production for maximum value.

He said the vision of PETAN was to support the authorities to ensure that all the values existing in the oil industry stay in Nigeria.

According to Ogunsanya, if Nigeria could retain between 60 and 70 percent of the oil and gas value chain in the country, it stands a better chance of being among the top 20 economies in the world.

He expressed concerns that Nigeria was losing a lot due to its inability to produce up to its oil production capacity.

He pointed out that the country was underproducing to the tune of at least 500,000 barrels per day, which he said was a huge loss to the country.

The PETAN leader maintained that such losses would not have been possible if there had been full in-country retention of values and beneficiation across all the chains of the industry.

He explained, “Essentially, if Nigerian organisations are involved in taking that oil out, taking it to a refinery owned by Nigerians and refining it, if we have petrochemicals refining the gas and the product, we are taking that gas; processing it in power plants; and running pipelines to connect all those power plants. This country will be among the top 20 economies in the world.

“And we believe very strongly that there is no better prescription for Nigeria’s economic solution than that.”

Reiterating PETAN’s commitment to support the retention of those values, he acknowledged the Presidency’s high interest in increasing production.

He pointed out that the Presidency had given the directives and formulated a lot of gazettes, stating that PETAN aligned with those initiatives.

Ogunsanya further said, “Our intention is to support this government, and this country to increase the production of oil and gas. I presented this vision to the whole house of PETAN exactly a week ago and the vision is very clear. PETAN wants to support Nigeria through innovative means to increase the production of oil and gas in this country.”

He acknowledged the challenges facing the industry in Nigeria, including funding, logistics and others.

He noted that his association cannot make progress with some of its plans without collaborating with energy correspondents.

“We cannot do without you. Our message cannot resonate and cannot get across without your partnership with us.

“Essentially, we both need each other. PETAN needs you to tell that story, to sell what our vision is to help the situation we find ourselves in. We are going to support you as PETAN, as we have done in the past. I give you that assurance, we will work with you immediately,” he told the NAEC representatives.

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Energy

High tariff will lead to electricity theft — FCT residents tell FG

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Some electricity consumers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have appealed to the Federal Government to review the new tariff  downwards to avoid electricity theft.

Some of the consumers who are mainly business owners  told journalists on Wednesday that if the cost of electricity remained high some of them consumers might bye-passing their meters.

Recall the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had announced an increase in electricity tariff paid by Band A customers from N68/KWh to N225/KWh.

Band A customers are those who enjoy electricity supply for at least 20 hours per day.

The consumers, mainly printers, who do operate mainly at UTC and Murg Plaza in Area 10, FCT said that they use heavy equipment in doing their jobs hence their electricity consumption is high.

According to them, if they have to pay N225/KWh this will greatly affect their jobs making it difficult for them to cope with the present economic situation in the country.

Mr Amos Okolo, a printer, said that it was good that the government plans to give them 20 hours of electricity in the new tariff but the cost is too high for any business person.

Okolo said that by the time he purchases electricity with the huge money, nothing would be left in his business to cater for his family.

“I am appealing to the government to review the tariff downward as such increase can lead to some consumers bye-passing their meters and this is not good for Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC),”he said.

On his part, Mr Samuel Kolawole, also a printer, said that the cost indicated in the new tariff was so high that it could negatively impact businesses.

He said that the government should try and reduce the tariff so that it can benefit the rich and the poor people.

According to him, 20 hours of electricity is good for business owners as this will reduce the cost of buying fuel or diesel for generators but the pricing should be business friendly.

“We are appealing to the government to reduce the tariff to what we can afford so as to benefit everyone,” he said.

Also speaking on the issue, Mr Abel Ajibola, also a graphic designer at Murg Plaza said that the government means well for the people but the new tariff is outrageous, especially for small business owners.

Ajibola said that he would be glad if the government could review the tariff so that electricity consumers would not be tempted to start stealing electricity.

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