*Generation to expand by over 11, 000MW
Lagos — The federal government plans to add six coal power generating plants to the 23 already existing plants by 2037, SweetcrudeReports findings have shown.
It also plans to add nine gas plants, making it a total of 15 power plants expected to come on stream by 2037.
An additional 15 plants would see the country’s struggling power generation leap by 11, 163 megawatts, MW.
Ashaka, one of the coal plants, would come on stream by 2034, and is expected to add 64MW to the national grid.
Other coal plants- Ramos expected in 2034 will add 1000MW, Ashaka/TPGL in 2034 will add 500MW, Nasarawa coal power, in 2034 will add 500MW, Benue coal power expected in 2037 will add 1200MW, while Enugu coal power to come on stream by 2037 will add 2000MW to the grid.
The other nine gas plants in the pipeline include: Totalfinaelf (Obitex NNPC power business plan) expected in 2031 will add 420MW to the grid. Anambra state IPP by 2031 will add 528MW, Knox’s 501MW will add 501MW by 2031.
Other gas plants: Delta state IPP expected by 2032 will generate an extra 500MW, Benco’s 700MW plant will come on stream by 2033, Kaduna (NNPC power business plan), 900MW is expected to come on stream by 2034, Fortune Electric’s two plants are expected by 2035 and would add a total of 1000MW to the grid, while Gwagwalada’s CCGT’s 1350MW is expected by 2037.
Nigeria’s current power generation hovers around 5000MW with 2000MW stranded due to inadequate transmission capacity.
Experts have said Nigeria needs nothing less than 30, 000MW per day to cater for its teeming population- approximately 200 million currently.
A recent report had chronicled how the country lost a whopping 44, 068MW power generation in 2020n due to unavailability of gas, transmission bottlenecks, and distribution constraints.
Rainfall level also determines power generation capacity of the country’s two hydro plants.
Although Nigeria is majorly an oil-producing country with gas plants taking centre stage, yet, its oldest nonrenewable source of energy is coal.
However, the country had not made the best use of coal in power generation in decades, especially since the pre-civil war era. The country had switched to gas and hydro post-civil war with maximum consumption around 1972 and has been decreasing steadily since then. Utilisation in the power generation industry was predominant between 1928 and 1939. Nigeria’s coal industry suffered a blow in the 1950s when oil was discovered. Up until this point, the Nigerian Railway Corporation was the largest consumer of coal in the country.
However, Nigeria still holds large coal reserves, estimated to be at least 2 billion metric tons.
With the federal government diversifying power generation prospects to include coal would open up the country’s ailing power sector to prospective coal investors, and would, in turn, boost the local coal industry.
The power sector lost a cumulative N645.15billion in 2020 as a result of gas constraints in generating 44,068 megawatts, so, coal generating plants might be a relief to the generation sector.
The Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN in its transmission expansion plan said main reasons for shortage of generation are outages of generation units and the unavailability of gas for power generation.
The gas supply is very often interrupted because of sabotage of pipeline network, it said.
“The main concern for the future expansion of generation, however, is the availability of gas for additional generation capacity and the expansion of the gas pipeline network. Currently, most of the power plants are installed in the Southern part of Nigeria close to the oil and gas fields. For a reliable and optimum expansion of the transmission system, it will be necessary to install new power plants also in other areas of Nigeria.”
“There are some plans for new hydropower plants. Photovoltaic and wind power plants are also under consideration.”
“However, to provide sufficient baseload power in future, large coal-fired power plants may have to be included in the generation expansion program,” it said in a note.