• Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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Experts seek investments in gas production to boost Nigeria’s power supply

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For Nigeria to address the issues of insufficient gas supply affecting the power generation and supply value chain, there is a need to invest more in gas production, experts have said.

Speaking at the second American Business Council (ABC) Economic update themed ‘Energizing Nigeria: Navigating Challenges, Harnessing Opportunities,’ Bart Nnaji, chairman and CEO of Geometric Power Group, said Nigeria has proven natural gas reserves of over 206 trillion cubic feet with an estimated recovery of 139.4 TCF, but many of the gas-fired power plants in Nigeria have inadequate gas supply.

Read also: Expert raises alarm over neglect of rural areas in national electricity supply plan

He said the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas company, which makes a huge contribution to our foreign reserves, produces at about 60 percent despite the ready markets.

“It is not just local power producers that are currently bleeding owing to insufficient gas; there is not sufficient liquified petroleum gas (LPG) for our kitchens. People are now resorting to firewood and coal for cooking, thus worsening the environmental crisis,” Nnaji said.

According to him, a well-articulated and sustainable programme needs to be put in place to incentivise investors to aggressively increase natural gas production in Nigeria.

He called for  emergency treatment of the gas sector in Nigeria to drive more investments to support the domestic and foreign market demands.

He however, lauded President for inaugurating gas projects in Ohaji, Imo State and in Kwale, Delta State.

Nnaji said that Nigeria needs more than 100,000 MW to meet its energy needs.

“Unfortunately, we currently have just 13,000MW of installed capacity from which we are only able to put less than 5,000 MW on the grid due to reasons primarily of gas and transmission constraints.

“The gas constraint is a major impediment that must be focused on. The transmission constraint requires policy overhaul. The current national grid is grossly inadequate for a nation of 200 million, especially if we are to generate and transmit more than 100,000MW.

“It is good that the current Power Reform Act has decentralised not just power generation and distribution, but also power transmission,” he added.

Also speaking, Eyono Fatayi-Williams, president of Women in Energy Network, said Nigeria has a lot of room to leverage on gas as a recognised transmission fuel in the energy transition.

According to her, gas development would help Nigeria address the huge deficit in the power sector.

“Developing gas-based industries in Nigeria such as cooking gas would help the country earn more revenue from exporting gas,” Fatayi-Williams said.

She said setting up the Nigeria LNG project as the major gas monetisation project was a good move by the government.

She said the project succeeded in cutting down gas flaring from about over 65 percent to less than 20 percent.

Fatayi-Williams said the government’s decision to declare a decade of gas with mega activity or initiative would make Nigeria a gas economy by 2030.

Margret Olele, executive secretary of the American Business Council, said the economic update focuses on energising Nigeria which is a critical conversation considering the importance of energy to the economic development of the country.

Olele said it helped create the right conversation between stakeholders to share their thoughts on how best to move the interest of the private sector forward and promote a conducive economic environment for investors in Nigeria and America.

She said that despite the complexities of doing business in Nigeria, the Government needs to create an enabling environment that would help investors continue to find the country attractive.

“Nigeria has all it takes to be competitive because we have all the good indices, such as youthful population, the largest population in Africa and we are among the largest oil producers. So, the country has everything it takes to be attractive to investors,” Olele said.