‘Power generation to rise by 40 per cent before December’
FROM the Federal Government, Tuesday, came a pledge to further raise the nation’s power generation capacity by 40 per cent, before the end of the year.
The administration had recently claimed to have buoyed the electricity production level by 30 per cent.
Speaking at the on-going Nigeria Oil and Gas (NOG) conference in Abuja Tuesday, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, said the 12-month emergency gas supply plan she initiated last year added the 230 million standard cubic feet (scufs) that aided a 30 per cent rise in power generation.
The minister pointed out that the country currently generates 4.2gigawatts with the aim of upping it to six gigawatts through addition of another 450 million scufs at the end of the year.
She explained: “In April 2012, with Presidential approval, I was able to deploy a 12-month emergency gas supply plan. This emergency gas-to-power initiative has contributed over 230 million standard cubic feats (scufs) per day for power generation. This has helped us to increase and support the national power generating capacity by 30 per cent to 4.2 gigawatts of power at this time.
Similarly, gas sales rose by more than 70 per cent to an average of four billion standard cubic feets per day. For the first time, industry has supplied more domestic gas than was consumed by the power and industrial sectors. Our plan is to continue throughout this year to further increase power generation by an additional 40 per cent. If possible, to move it to at least six gigawatts through addition of 450million scufs per day of gas supply.”
Alison-Madueke highlighted that the re-positioning of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) as a gas supplier to the domestic market, has added over 65 million scufs from the Oredo facility and has handling facility in the western Niger Delta to the nation’s gas network.
The Minister also stressed that government hopes to complete the Lagos-Escravos pipeline by 2014 and that the Ob-Ob 42 inch gas pipeline gas are targeted at creating flexibility of movement of domestic gas nationwide from one to two billion cubic feets per day.
To confirm the negative impacts the rising production of shale oil and gas in the U.S would have on Nigeria’s economy, the Minister called on stakeholders to double their efficiency and competitiveness to maintain the vibrancy of the Nigerian economy.
Her words: “The world is becoming even more competitive. The U.S shale oil and the increased gas production is already affecting export to the United States bearing in mind that the United States is one of our major importers in this sector.
“We must, therefore, as an industry, improve our efficiency, technical creativity and ensure that we increase our level of proficiency to remain absolutely competitive in all ramifications in the next few years and beyond.”
She hinted that the Ajaokuta-Kano gas pipeline, which is expected to supply gas to the Northern parts of the country, is at advanced stage of design.
However, she was quick to point at fund paucity to adequately execute the project saying the funds that have come from appropriation is grossly inadequate.
“So far, funding of these major infrastructure has been through appropriation by the National Assembly which is not sustainable. So, there have been collaborative efforts between the Ministries of Petroleum Resources and that of Finance through the utilization of Eurobonds to finance this huge gas infrastructure as we go forward,” she said.