By Peter Uzoho
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has begun engagement with gas producers in the country in order to boost gas supply to power generation companies (Gencos).
The move is aimed at addressing gas supply constraints being complained by the Generating Companies (Gencos) and help increase generation for improved electricity supply to Nigerians.
The Chief Operating Officer, Gas and Power, NNPC, Mr. Yusuf Usman, disclosed this in Lagos, during his tour of Egbin Power Plc facility on Monday, adding that the NNPC was committed to enhancing domestic gas utilisation in the country.
Usman spoke in response to concerns raised by the Chairman of Egbin Power Plc, Mr. Temitope Shonubi, who briefed the Chief Operating Officer and his team on the progress and challenges of the company.
He said the company’s concern in the area of gas supply and transmission restrictions had been noted, adding that the corporation would support it to ensure steady power supply and also ensure that power generated was safely evacuated.
“I have listened to all the concerns you raised. An area of concern to me is when you talked about the gas constraints. We are going to support you to make sure that the power supply is steady. We are having a session with gas suppliers in this regard.
“I am aware that works are ongoing in this regard to ensure that all the power we generate is safely evacuated,” Usman said.
The Chief Operating Officer however, said he was impressed by the level of progress being recorded by Egbin, noting that the effort of the company’s management to effect turnaround maintenance at the company through overhaul of the entire system, was commendable.
Usman added: “The visit has been an eye opener for me. We have seen turbines that have been running for over 40 years. We have seen efforts being made by Egbin management to effect a turnaround at the plant through overhaul of the entire system.
“We have also seen the support you have been given to the youths through employment and capacity development opportunities.”
In his remarks, Shonubi informed his visitor that Egbin Power was planning to add additional 1,900 megawatt to the Nigeria’s power generation pool.
Explaining the expansion plan for the Egbin, termed as Phase 2 Investments, Shonubi maintained that the expansion would add between 1,750MW and 1900MW to the Nigeria’s power generation.
Taking his visitors through the post privatisation journey by the thermal plant, the helmsman maintained that the plant had gone through major overhauling, which he explained, had helped to increase generation from the low capacity it had before 2013.
Shonubi said: “Egbin has 1,320MW capacity. As at the time we took over, the plant was generating 300MW which is abysmal 22 per cent. As at today, our generation capacity has surged and we do 89 per cent.
“We have reached the highest peak of 970MW and we are working hard to ensure sustainability of this feat.
“The 970MW we hit is the highest recorded this year and based on our core value of sustainability, we are working round the clock to make sure that we sustain the gains, which we have made.”
Listing challenges being faced by the company to include grid limitation, gas constraints, and liquidity, he added that stakeholders including the NNPC, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) have been working tirelessly and collaboratively to solve the issues.