Power supply in the country is set to get a boost as Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited, TEPNG, has committed to devote about 300 million standard cubic feet, mscf, of gas daily to the domestic market.
Total said the dedicated gas was in fulfillment of its domestic gas obligation, DGO, as required by the Federal Government under the Gas Master Plan, GMP.
Gas supply has been a major challenge for sustainable electricity supply in Nigeria, as the generating plants are starved of the needed feedstock to power the plants, a development that has kept generation output at its lowest ebb in the recent times, with dire economic consequences.
Recall that gas producers, particularly, the international oil companies, IOCs, are often accused of reneging on the DGO and preferred to channel their gas for liquefied natural gas, LNG, export for higher profit than government’s gas-to-power programme
About 100MSCF of the 300MSCF gas will be used to feed the Alaoji Power Plant, a 1,131 megawatt, MW, capacity plant located near Aba, Abia State, while the balance of 200MSCF/d will be used for petrochemicals industry development.
Leading journalists, Wednesday, on a tour of Owaza Gas Plant, Ukwa West area of Abia State, from where the gas will be transported to Alaoji plant, Managing Director/Chief Executive, TEPNG, Mr. Nicolas Terraz, disclosed that the plant would be ready for commissioning in July this year.
Terraz, who led a management team of Total E&P on the tour, further said the project was “to help Nigeria achieve its gas aspiration and meet the Nigerian government gas flare out policy”
According to him, no flaring will occur at the Owaza plant except for emergency purposes.
He said: “The project is being completed safely, with no major accident or injury. The project is designed to protect the environment, both in terms of operations and waste disposal.”
Earlier, Total’s Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Ahmadu-Kida Musa, disclosed that TEPNG was resolute in helping Nigeria overcome its power challenges, as the company was also investing in alternative power solutions, through its subsidiary company, Sun Power.
“We are speaking with some state governments on alternative power solutions and we are in the process of finalising agreements with some of them,” he said.
He said solutions were being structured along the lines of available resources around the geopolitical zones, such as solar for the North, hydro for the Middle Belt and gas for the Niger Delta.
He added that “if Nigeria is able to harness its gas potentialities, it will be self-sufficient in power.”
Total’s Executive Director, Oil & Gas Commercial, Mr. Patrick Olinma, had also noted that the siting of the National Integrated Power Plants, NIPPs, were based more on political considerations than economic and technical issues, particularly feedstock, to power the plants.
The Owaza plant is part of Total’s $5.7billion Oil Mining Lease, OML 58 upgrade, embarked upon by the Nigerian unit of the French oil giant since 2008.
Total’s Project General Manager, OML 58 Upgrade Projects, Mr. Kayode Akiode, said the Gas Plant “was essentially designed to boost gas supply for both industrial and domestic use, and increase deliveries to the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, in Bonny, Rivers State, while meeting the Federal Government’s gas flare out policy.”
The plant also accommodates the $900 million, Northern Option Pipeline, NOPL, which he said “will also impact industries in Aba and environs which will receive gas delivery through the Nigerian Gas Company, NGC.”