Why Nigeria Should Optimize Gas — Ugbo

Why Nigeria Should Optimize Gas — Ugbo
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The federal government should as a matter of principle and policy, optimize the use of gas to provide electricity for Nigerians.

This was disclosed by the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Niger Delta Power Holding Company, Chiedu Ugbo.

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According to him, the nation has serious demand for electricity and therefore, needs to harness gas and also increase other sources of electricity.

He said, “There is no two ways about that. Out of the 14,000 megawatts contracted to power generation firms by Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading, NBET, about 85% are for gas thermal power plants.

“So what are you going to do with these plants if you are going to cut down to renewables? Also, where are we with regard to renewables? Again, I know it is government’s policy to increase renewables over time. But as of today, about 85 percent of the contracted 14,000MW is supposed to be fueled by gas and we need to harness this gas, get electricity to consumers, develop our country and then begin to increase other sources of electricity.

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“It has been stated that our electricity demand is somewhere around 28,000MW, perhaps we can then use other sources of renewables such as solar, small hydro plants and wind to develop the rest that is required”.

On whether NDPHC also faces gas constraints like other GenCos, he explained that it is positioned to be the biggest consumer of gas in Nigeria but he is not sure that this is the case at the moment.

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“And this is essentially because we are constrained so much by lack of gas. The truth is that we have about 4,000MW installed capacity of electricity. At every point in time, that 4,000MW should give you at least 3,500MW to 3,600MW based on good site conditions. Also, at every point in time, we have at least 2,500MW available during maintenance and other situations.

“But as it is, we are severely constrained by lack of gas, which means there is the need and market for domestic gas to produce this quantum of power. But there are other commercial issues in the market. However, a lot of investments is required for gas, but more importantly, the concerns have to do with commercial issues along the line between the gas producers and, of course, power companies and electricity consumers as well.

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Ugbo emphasised that there is a whole range of issues, especially commercial ones that they need to address to make domestic gas available, particularly to the power plants.

Aljazirahnews


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