The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has announced plans to boost power generation with additional 5,000 megawatts of electricity to the national power grid once the ongoing gas projects throughout the country are completed.
This follows progress being made on several gas projects, including the NLNG Train 7, with a foreign direct investment of between $3 billion and $5 billion.
According to a report from Thisday, this disclosure was made by the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, while speaking at a virtual event organised by the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA), themed: “Powering Forward: Enabling Nigeria’s Industrialisation Via Gas,”
Kyari, who was represented by the Chief Operating Officer, Gas and Power, Mr Yusuf Usman, said the NNPC was committed to fulfilling President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to boost domestic gas supply.
Other gas projects listed by the NNPC boss include the AKK, which he described as one the largest and most aggressive gas infrastructure that has ever been embarked upon in Nigeria, stretching 614 km from Ajaokuta, Abuja, Kaduna and Kano, and Lot B of the OB3 gas project, which is already producing 125 mmscfd of gas.
He said the NNPC hopes to establish 2 gas hubs, one at Oben and the other at Brass, adding that one of the presidential mandates is to deliver on gas and power and create a market in the domestic environment that will consume the planned 4.5bcf of gas.
Kyari pointed out that the state oil giant and its partners are able to raise about $260 million within Nigerian merchant banks and 2 African banks for the Asa North gas project.
Kyari in his statement said, “At the moment, the power sector is challenged and all efforts have to be put in to unlock the liquidity in the downstream sector and expand the transmission network. This will enable us to sell the gas we have already invested in and enhance the economic prosperity of the country.
“Within the NNPC, we are looking to establish about five gigawatts of additional power into the network. So, NNPC is engaging with the stakeholders to resolve the power sector issue so that investment that has been made in generating gas can be realised.”
He also stated that the NNPC had started creating a link between the domestic gas pipelines infrastructure and export gas pipelines to establish an outlet into the export route which will make the projects more bankable.
The actualization of this plan by the NNPC will give a much-needed boost to the power sector which has been facing serious crisis despite the rapidly growing economy.
Despite the power sector reform, which saw the Federal Government give up control of power generation and distribution but still retained transmission, the crisis in the sector still persists, with serious negative impacts on the agricultural, industrial and mining sectors. Even the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises are not saved from its crippling effects.
The addition of 5,000 megawatts of electricity, which is about half of what the country generates at the moment, will go a long way to help reduce the crisis in the power sector and boost the economy, which is still very fragile.