By Etuka Sunday
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday secured a grant from the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) to facilitate the establishment of a 1,350Megawatts (MW) Independent Power Plant in Abuja.
The project will utilize indigenous gas resources to address the growing demand for power in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory.
Speaking at the signing ceremony of the grant which held on the sidelines of the ongoing Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (N.I.P.S) in Abuja, Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, said the $1.16million USTDA grant would be deployed for the provision of technical, economic and financial analyses necessary for the development of the combined cycle, natural gas-fired power plant to be sited in Gwagwalada, a satellite town of Abuja.
Mallam Kyari stated that the power plant, when completed, would deliver power to the national grid for onward transmission to Nigerians to facilitate industrial growth and reduce poverty in the country.
“We all know that there must be a framework. We all know that there are so many delayed projects in this Industry that have to do with delivering gas to the domestic market for so many reasons. One of them is inability to secure financing and other fiscal issues that we are all familiar with and they have to be resolved. What we have to do is to create infrastructure that will deliver gas to the domestic market and we are already doing that,” the GMD assured.
He informed that NNPC under his watch was committed to providing the necessary infrastructure that would reduce the power deficit and also reduce to the barest minimum gas flaring which impacts the environment negatively.
The NNPC helmsman stated that the corporation had already delivered the Oben-Obrikun and Obiafu (OB3) gas pipelines, expanded the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System 2 (ELPS 2) with her partners and about constructing the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipeline which would deliver gas from the OB3 line to Kano.
He added that along that corridor, the plan is for the NNPC to build three independent power plants in Abuja, Kaduna and Kano, stressing that the strategy would enable the debottlenecking of power into the grid to ensure stable power supply.
Mallam Kyari said the construction of the AKK pipeline would lead to the establishment of industries along the route of the pipeline all the way to Kano, noting that the spin-off effect would be prosperity for the people.
“We know that gas is the cleanest form of energy. We also know that we are flaring some of the gas which we are putting up strategies to stop. By stopping gas flaring, we create wealth, we create prosperity and we have to deliver power to the country. We also know that the focus of the Federal Government is to deliver power to the people as quickly as possible and also deliver gas to our domestic market,” Mallam Kyari submitted.
Earlier, the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, said the grant was part of America’s intervention to reduce the power deficit, create jobs and support the expansion of gas infrastructure in Nigeria.
On his part, the Director of USTDA, Tom Hardy, stated that the grant of $1.16million to the NNPC was an American power solution geared towards boosting the nation’s economy.
Managing Director of General Electric (GE) Gas Power System in Nigeria, Mohammed Mijindadi, expressed the readiness of GE to deliver on her mandate.
Highpoint of the event was the signing of the grant documents by the Managing Director of NNPC Gas and Power Investment Company (GPIC), Engr. Husaini El-Yakubu, for NNPC and Tom Hardy for USTDA.
In a related development, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, has restated the commitment of the corporation to deliver sufficient energy for the economic and industrial growth of the nation.
In a presentation at the ongoingNigeria International Petroleum Summit (N.I.P.S.), the GMD disclosed that the corporation was doing a lot to ensure national energy security.
He said NNPC was opening up its operations to allow for transparency and stability that would attract the right kind of investments that would enable it meet the needs and aspirations of its over 200 million shareholders.
Speaking on the much touted global energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, Mallam Kyari said the reality on ground indicates that fossil fuel would remain the main source of energy for a long while, noting that the focus should be on the cleanliness of the fossil fuel rather than the elimination entirely as wrongly projected.
He disclosed that informed perspective and forecast provided by various researchers and Industry analysts indicate that by 2050 the global consumption of crude oil would remain about 100 million barrels per day.
He added that most forecasts indicate that by 2040 renewables would only account for about 20 per cent of global energy needs which means that fossil fuel would continue to deliver at least 70 per cent of global energy needs within the period under forecast.
Mallam Kyari said the NNPC was committed to using the nations vast hydrocarbon resources to add value and create wealth and prosperity for the government and people of Nigeria.