The Ministers of Petroleum Resources and Power, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke and Prof Chinedu Nebo, are meeting to proffer lasting solutions to the perennial gas shortages in the power sector.
Nebo said the meeting will be devoted to mapping out strategies to ensure that the gas supply problem to power plants is resolved.
He said one of the strategies under consideration is to motivate the gas producing firms by providing incentives for them, adding that the current price of gas is not incentivising enough for producers and investors.
He said as a result of the challenge, his colleague would ensure that no two gas plants are shut at the same time for maintenance as happened recently at the Utorogu and Ughelli East gas plants in Delta State, which resulted in about 700 megawatts (Mw) drop in supply to the national grid.
Nebo said: “We have some challenges. Generation companies (GENCOs) are primed to deliver, but unless you have enough gas, they cannot deliver. We are working on incentivising the gas producers.
“The cost and pricing of gas is not the best to attract investors to come into the gas sector. The Minister of Petroleum Resources and I are working very hard and trying to synergise to ensure that all the gas needed in order for the GENCOs not only the ones that are here such as the assets that have been sold, the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP) but also independent power plants (IPPS) that are coming on board, that all of them have enough gas.
“That is the only way we can have enough power generated for our people because the suppressed demand in Nigeria now for electricity quadruples our capacity to deliver electricity at this point.
So it is actually an investors’ day in Nigeria. We are hoping that investors from all over the world will take advantage of that and jump on the bandwagon, because people have voracious appetite for electricity and once they do so, it will be better for our country and also, all the talk about industrial revolution for Nigeria will never happen without power and that is why we are bent on delivering power to Nigerians.
“The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), has a blueprint because ideally we ought to have almost one and half times wheeling or transmission capacity of the generation capacity but that is not the case. So, TCN is working very hard to ensure that Nigeria is placed at a position that where power is generated, we will transmit to the people.
“What we are saying is with gas coming on now; there is hope, because in the past one month, we had a nightmare. The nightmare was essentially that many of the gas companies started doing their servicing all at the same time but now there is streamlining and all of them have come together and decided on scheduling to ensure that no two gas plants are down at the same time thereby starving the power plants of fuel to fire the turbines.”
“That is going to take place and hopefully too, distribution companies (DISCOs) are working on expanding their capacity to supply electricity to the people because if we generate and transmit and the capacity to distribute is not there, people will still not get electricity.”