Cached On Renewable Energy And Local Content For Perfection
By Sola Akingboye
The Hon. Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo may probably have delivered what look like a valedictory message unknowingly at the recent Nigeria Power Forum, jointly organised with Nigerian Oil and Gas (NOG) conference, as he reminisced notable achievements of President Goodluck Jonathan led administration in the power sector.
Though, some might see the minister’s toga as a campaign strategy to win the hearts of Nigerians ahead of the election, but the message similarly connotes a valedictory pass mark for the incumbent President Jonathan, who later lost re-election by popular votes in the March 28th presidential election.
While it is suffice to admit that the Ijaw born President has undisputedly made his mark as the Nigerian president who supervised the privatisation of Nigeria’s heartbeat sector, the Power industry, which despite the huge billions of dollars sunk in it by previous administrations, the sector still remains comatose and near moribund at the time the present administration took over the leadership mantle in 2010.
Ironically, the Hon Minister appeared to have pre-empt the outcome of the March 28th election in anticipation that the government he represents may not survive to tell its stories at the next edition of the event. Chinedu Nebo in his keynote address inadvertently reminisced various achievements recorded by the Jonathan administration, which he said traverse the privatisation of power sector alone.
He speaks: “It is with great pleasure that I welcome you all to the 2015 edition of the Nigeria Power Forum.”
“When on the 17th of March, 2014, I addressed the inaugural edition of this forum, we were only a few months into the new era of privatized generation and distribution assets, with a lot of promise and many challenges in tow, not least of which were those of what was widely perceived to be the low price of gas-to-power and the associated inadequacy of supply of gas to newly privatized power plants. The nascent privatized Electricity Supply Industry was also grappling with challenges of meeting the Conditions Precedent to the commencement of the Transitional Electricity Market (TEM).”
“It is with a sense of modest achievement that I address you today, one year on. I can boldly say that in line with the Transformation Agenda of the administration of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI), has made great strides since November 01 2013.” He boasted.
Highlighting some of the feat recorded by the administration, the Minister noted that the additional power generation by the private generation companies, the Gencos has improved electricity across the country in recent times, adding that the collaboration between the ministries of Power and Petroleum Resources on Gas to Power has made it a success story.
“Let me share some of these successes with you. We have seen appreciable increase in Generation Capacity by the new private sector owners of GENCOS with the following additions:
Ughelli: from 160MW to 610MW (eventually to 1610MW)
Egbin: from 1080MW to 1320MW
Kainji Hydro: from 80MW to 230MW (eventually to 470MW)
Jebba Hydro: from 450MW to 546MW
“In addition, two National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP) Power Plants, namely Alaoji (960MW) and Calabar (563MW) were completed.
The intervening year has seen unprecedented collaboration between the ministries of Power and Petroleum Resources. This by itself is a very commendable development given the obvious dependency of the Nigerian Power Industry on gas.”
“I am also very pleased to highlight a number of achievements of this collaboration
- The increase in the price of gas-to-power from $1.50/mmBTU to $2.50/mmBTU with a maximum allowable gas transportation price of $0.80/mmBTU.
- The appreciable increase in the quantity of gas available for power generation to levels that can support the generation of up to 5,500MW.
- The remarkable milestone of the first supply of gas from a marginal field producer, Frontier Oil, to Ibom Power.
- The settlement of legacy gas debts owed to gas producers by the erstwhile PHCN generation plants under the Central Bank of Ngeria (CBN) Intervention Facility for the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry.
“It is worthy of note that all the 10 NIPP Power Plants have now achieved gas supply. All these Power Plants are now on the way to being privatized with preferred bidders already announced. We expect in the coming months to have the transfer of the assets to the new private sector owners concluded.” Nebo highlighted.
The Minister also expressed his confident that a lot of progress has been made, saying it is a demonstration of what is possible and can be said to have set the scene for the way forward, catching on the renewable Energy and Local content policy as icing on the cake for the sector.
The Federal Government disclosed that a National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Policy have reached the final approval stages ahead of its implementation. Nebo said the local content policy specific to the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry and the power sector is being developed.
‘‘I can boldly say that in line with the Transformation Agenda of the administration of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI), has made great strides since November 01 2013,’’he said.
Prof. Nebo believes the strides recorded by the current administration are supported by commendable policies of the government, which he noted will see Nigeria well on the path of meeting its target of generating 20MW by 2020.
“Obviously gas is a very important fuel for the power generation industry in Nigeria. However, it is not the only fuel available to us in Nigeria and the administration of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, is not sparing any efforts to achieve a healthy fuel mix for power generation.”
“Let me highlight a few of the efforts in this regard.”
- 700MW Zungeru Hydro Power Plant under construction
- 17 small