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Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo has stated that more joint electricity partnerships are needed between National Electricity Regulatory Commission NERC and oil and gas regulatory agencies to bring gas supply to the power sector
This is as he also called on stakeholders to further explore non-associated gas supply to the power industry at more liberalized rates.
The Vice President made the call on Tuesday at Afam, Rivers State, at the commissioning of the Transcorp 240MW Afam III Fast Power Plant.
He described the delivery of the project as an important part of the evolving story of Nigeria’s aspirations to bring power to millions in their homes and factories and businesses.
He commended Transcorp for its efforts in the power sector saying; “I must say the past two days belongs to Transcorp Power because at the same meeting of the NCP, the Council approved Transcorp Power Consortium as the preferred Bidder of the Abuja Disco.
He said If the trajectory of private investment in the power sector continues, “it means that the electricity supply industry will attain self-sufficiency by end of 2023, it will be able to resource itself and pay for itself”.
“The challenge before us is for the industry to leverage the improved commercial environment that has been created to sustainably supply electricity and extend service to all our citizens.
“Our administration has tried in this direction. The administration has created four programmes for off-grid electrification and revamped the Rural Electricity Agency that it now has the capacity to provide renewable off-grid electricity line on cash basis.
This administration has also completed concessioning the Zungeru Elec Power plant that will add another 700mw of renewable energy to our energy mix.
We believe we are on track to electricity to all Nigerians in the next decade as we look forward the next administration to scale up already existing programmes.
Despite all this, we may not make progress if industrial and urban power supply that are anchored on large scale gas power plants such as the Afam 3 does not improve.
Despite having one of the largest gas reserves in the world, security for the power sector has remained inconsistent and is hampering the programme . In 2022, a gas supply stabilization stand at N40Bn was established by the NERC to provide advanced payment security to all gas supplies and electricity supply industry.
Consistently gas suppliers in the sector had claimed that payments certainty was the greatest challenge to supply.
“Unfortunately, the payment security has not led to improved supply certainty. So, I encourage gas producers and gas suppliers to have a fundamental rethink about supply security and propound ways to ensure ou gas supply can improve and meet a gap and grow in demand of the Nig elec supply industry”.
Also speaking, the Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu represented by the Permanent Secretary, Temitope Fashedemi expressed satisfaction on the newly commissioned Afam III Power plant noting the laudable achievement by the federal government in recent times.
He stressed that the power plant which is generating about 40 percent of the power supply in the country is a commendable effort by Transcorp group.
“The realisation of this project is one of the landmark achievements of the federal government in the power sector, in its endeavour to reduce the gap in the supply and demand for electricity in Nigeria.
“This notable achievements would not have been made possible without the political will of His Excellency Mr President and I do sincerely appreciate the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, for his support to Nigeria power sector.
“I am excited today to be in an Afam, one of our most energy clusters in the country. If the Afam cluster is to operate at full capacity, it will provide about 40 percent of our generated energy today.
“Nigeria does not have an option to be a gas power country alongside sensible usage of renewables as part of energy transition journey.
“Transcorp group is one of our leading gas power players in the country today. Just yesterday, at the National Council of the Privatization, Ugheli gas plant was delisted from BPE’s monitoring framework as a result of the positive performance and improvement that Transcorp has made in Ugheli Power Plant since they acquired it since 2013.
“I have also heard the great news about the turnaround ongoing with Afam Plc which is just next to us, which was sold alongside the Afam III Fast Power that we are here to commission today. Afam Plc was taken over from Ministry of Power with usable capacity of about 70mw in 2021, what I hear today is that already capacity exceeding 100mw is being recovered from that plant.
“Nigeria today, has the most gas power capacity in sub-Sahara Africa but our utilisation is not where it ought to be. We need continue partnerships between our original equipment manufacturers and the general electric group and our critical investors, like the Transcorp group to not only build new power plant but also to recover existing and available capacity”.
In his remarks, Tony Elumelu, Chairman, Transcprp said the commissioned plant is a 240 megawatts installed capacity plant, comprising eight trailer-mounted gas turbines of 30 megawatts each.
“We all know the importance of power in Nigeria, we all experience the consequences of power deficit, implications for our people, our businesses, our schools, our hospitals and our institutions. In fact implications for our national destiny. Therefore, I am proud today that we have been able to put together so many key stakeholders.
Why am I proud and happy, I would like us to tell a success story out of Nigeria. A story that can be repeated over and over again if government, community and the private sector work together as we have worked together here at Afam.
The Transcorp Group Partnership began in November 2020. When we signed the Afam power, share sale, and purchase agreement at a ceremony presided over by the Vice President of Nigeria.
The journey has not always been easy but we have delivered, capacity recovery, plant investment, infrastructure improvement, excellent community relationships, and a transformed and motivated Nigerian workforce. We are fulfilling our promises to the government.
Transcorp group, is a stakeholder in the power sector, we recognise power is the single most critical factor to lifting our people out of poverty and enabling job creation.
I am delighted to welcome you, Mr. Vice President to the commissioning of this project, it is a testament of your legacy as chairman of the National Council of Privatisation and reinforces our country’s confidence in the ability serious minded private sector leader to drive economic growth and progress.
He called on the Federal Government to please resolve the gas and power evacuation challenges that exist in the region so as to uptimise the capacity of the coverage of the plants for the good of Nigerians.
He also urged the incoming administration also to improve gas supply to the industry and our Afam plants, ensure the completion of the 330 KVF tubor circuit Afam/Ikot Ekpene transmission lines which will increase the capacity of Afam corridor.