Nigeria looks to coal to boost power supply

Professor Chinedu Nebo, Nigeria's minister of Power.

Professor Chinedu Nebo, Nigeria’s minister of Power.

*Govt signs MoU with indigenous firm to generate 500MW

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

19 February 2015, Sweetcrude, Abuja –
The Federal government has announced that it is ready to partner with the private sector to exploit the enormous coal resources towards the provision of electricity to the citizens.

The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, who made the announcement on Wednesday at the signing ceremony of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for 500MW coal-fired power plant in Enugu by One Nation Energy Platform Ltd, stated that Nigeria was blessed with abundance of coal deposits, with Enugu being the hub, as its coal deposit was in three layers when compared with other parts of the country which had one layer of the resource deposited at a point, all across large stretch in eight other states.

According to the Minister, citing the coal powered plant in the Enugu axis was a welcome development as Ugwuaji, one of the settlements in Enugu State, houses one of the biggest transmission Sub-station in the country hence evacuation of the power generated will not be a problem.

The Minister who described the coal deposit in Nigeria as very clean, stated that the processing of the mineral resource for energy delivery will not be a cumbersome process.

He further said that the South East zone alone has enough coal deposits to deliver 5,000MW of coal fired power to Nigeria, adding that the area also provides a veritable corridor of power supply to both the South East and the Northern part of the country.

Nebo disclosed plans by government to build an industrial village in Enugu that would look like a mini Dubai when completed; this is just as he said that the addition of the 500MW coal fired power plant in the area will also assist in giving the project the boost it needed to make it a home of class.

The Minister remarked that when completed, the 500 megawatts would be added to the national grid based on the agreement signed with One Nation Energy Platform Ltd.

In a statement signed by Grace Njoku on behalf of the Deputy Director, Press, Ministry of Power, Nebo described it as a welcome development for government’s quest for a robust energy mix that would support the nation’s aspiration for development of the power sector.

The Minister also noted that the coal-power project will also provide stable power, devoid of challenges of sabotage from vandals who were determined to frustrate the present administration’s effort at providing adequate and reliable power to all Nigerians.

Earlier, the Chairman of One Nation Energy Platform Ltd, Chief Uzoma Obiyo expressed his company’s commitment to the realization of the project and called on the government to help fast track the procurement of necessary permits, licenses and approvals.

“This, no doubt, will help remove perceived and unknown bottle-necks, thus ensuring a quicker delivery of the project,” he added.

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