…..to generate 4,000 megawatts power in 10 years.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will, through its joint venture partners, resuscitate the moribund 700 megawatts Agura and 400megawatts Obite power projects, just as it plans to build power plants that would generate 4,000 megawatts in the next ten years, to boost supply in the country.
Both Agura and Obite Gas-fired power plant projects, just like other power projects, have been on the drawing board for more than a decade and were part of a queue of power plants meant to be constructed by Oil Majors in Nigeria between 2003 and 2007 to put out the flare and help boost electricity supply in the country.
According to the NNPC, plans were underway to commence Okpai Phase 2 Power Plant, while other JV power plants, such as Obite and Agura would also be progressed soon, to boost power generation in the country.
The Chevron Agura power project, for which the ground breaking ceremony was performed by President Olusegun Obasanjo, was to gulp a whopping sum of $700 million then, and was expected to be completed in 2010.
The plant was to be fired with gas supply from the NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture, through the Nigerian Gas Company operated Escravos-Lagos pipeline system, or through the proposed NNPC/Chevron Escravos-Lagos offshore pipeline.
The NNPC requires about $15 billion investment to realise the Gas and Power Autonomous Business Unit, (ABU) aspirations and discussions were already ongoing with investors world-wide, to address the gas deficit by building on the already existing gas infrastructure.
Saidu Mohammed, the corporation’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), Gas and Power, disclosed this at the 2017 retreat of his Autonomous Business Unit (Gas and Power), in Kaduna, saying this would be achieved through building independent power plants.
Explaining the concept, Saidu Mohammed said the power plants would be built in the next three to ten years, by Incorporated Joint Venture Companies that would involve the NNPC, International Power Companies and other Nigerian Investors, to be structured after the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) business model.
“Power generation is a big business. As at today, the NNPC has interest in two power plants, one in Okpai, Delta State and the other in Afam, Rivers State, which were respectively built by our Joint Ventures with Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), and Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).
“These two power plants collectively generate up to 1,000 megawatts and they are the most reliable and cheapest sources of power to the national grid in Nigeria today,” Mohammed affirmed.
According to a statement signed by Ndu Ughamadu, group Genaral Manager , Public Affairs, Mohammed said the new thinking involved the extension of the corporation’s major gas pipeline infrastructure into a robust network to connect various parts of the country, adding that implementation of the Ajaokuta to Abuja-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) extension has progressed.
“The main base-loads to justify such infrastructure are power plants that would consume the gas and for that, we are planning to build about 2,000 to 3,100 megawatts, combined, in these three cities.
“The partnership will involve players who will bring in their various capacities as operators, builders of power plants and as investors. The NNPC will also bring its strength of being a dominant player in the Nigerian gas value chain,” Mohammed revealed.
He stated that the NNPC as a stakeholder in the gas value chain, had developed capabilities in processing, transportation and marketing of gas for export and domestic utilisation. He further added that the nation’s gas resources had the potential of changing the landscape of the Nigerian economy for the better.
“If you generate enough power, the multiplier effect will revive most of the moribund industries across the country. The NNPC intends to capture 50 per cent of the gas market in Nigeria by growing the Nigerian Gas Marketing Company (NGMC) from the 500 million standard cubic feet/day of gas that it is today, to about 3 to 4 billion standard cubic feet/day in the next ten years,” the COO enthused.
Mohammed noted that in line with the Gas Master Plan, the NNPC would be producing gas with its JV partners and with other interested Nigerian investors to build treatment plants to achieve the deadline.
“We are going to unbundle the upstream by delineating the midstream, so as to allow other players operate in it while NNPC as the operator of the pipeline network will continue to deliver gas to the downstream sector and ultimate consumers,” he stated.
Out of the five power plants conceived around 2003 to contribute to Nigeria’s Power Reform, only two were built; Shell’s Afam VI and Agip’s Okpai Power Plant.
Still on the drawing board are ExxonMobil’s planned Qua Iboe Plant, Chevron’s Agura Power Plant and TOTAL’s Obite.