30 August 2014, Lagos – Nigeria’s electricity generation profile has again risen to approximately 4500 megawatts, in addition to excess considerable spinning reserve, the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo said yesterday in Abuja.
Nebo’s disclosure of this recovered electricity generation capacity also coincided with Nigeria’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Brazilian firm, Benco Energie Limited for the construction of a 700MW combined cycle power plant in Bayelsa State, Southern Nigeria.
The minister stated at the MoU signing ceremony that the current growth in nationwide electricity generation and distribution has been aided by increase in gas supply to thermal generation plants in the country, as well as relative stability in the transmission network.
“I am very sure that some of you if not all of you would have noticed that within the past few weeks we have averaged about 4,500MW of power delivery and it has been stable.
“And that means that most of you are now getting better power supply than you have had in the recent past. Gas is now coming in and we are expecting even a lot more of gas.
“The transmission facilities are being beefed up to strengthen and make more reliable and stable the national grid to be able to wheel out more power,” Nebo said shortly after signing the MoU.
An industry source also told THISDAY that in addition to the new generation profile, the country has been able to claw back into the system, considerable amount of power for its spinning reserve.
Nigeria had recently recorded serious decline in its power generation profile, owing majorly to poor gas supply to thermal power plants, vandalism of critical energy assets as well as sabotage of procedures initiated to help grow the country’s power generation profile.
Meanwhile, Benco, led by its president, Mr. Rodrigo Badin stated that it will commit between $800 and $900 million in the construction of the power plant in Bayelsa.
According to Nebo, the MoU with Benco was an extension of Nigeria’s earlier agreement with Brazil to give interested Brazilian power companies an opportunity to invest and produce a minimum of 10,000MW of power in Nigeria.
The Benco MoU was the first to take advantage of the agreement; the power plant is expected to be ready within three years from the day its construction will commence.
Nebo said of the MoU that: “A couple of years ago, Electrobras of Brazil and the Nigerian government signed an MoU and it was aimed at bringing into Nigeria, Electrobras to help Nigeria develop as much as 10,000MW of power
“What we are signing today is the very first takeoff of the implementation of that MoU, bringing Benco to work with the federal ministry of power for their plant. We want to assure Benco that the terms of the MoU that we have signed today; we will do our best to implement them.”
Similarly, Badin said in his remarks that: “It is a 700MW plant, although it can reduce to 688MW because this depends on location and environmental conditions.
The investment is around $800 to $900 million.”
“Of course all these will be confirmed as soon as we have all the necessary investigations and have them more defined. The time schedule is supposed to be around three years for the construction of the project.
“The location is Bayelsa because it is a terrain which is close to gas supply, transmission line and a river. So, we have all the right infrastructure that we need there and this location is perfect for our investment,” he added.
Badin further explained that the power plant will basically consist of two turbines that run on gas and two others that will run on vapour.
“That is the power module of the plant that we are going to be implementing,” he said.
– This Day