• Thursday, December 07, 2023
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Power minister turns up the heat on gas infrastructure investment

Adebayo Adelabu – Oyo State

Adebayo Adelabu, minister of power, has said that Nigeria requires additional gas, generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure to meet local electricity demands.

The minister disclosed this at Tuesday’s 2nd Domestic Gas and Gas Infrastructure Summit 2023 held in Abuja.

According to him, Nigeria, with an increasing population growth, which is expected to reach 377 million in 2050, requires substantial gas infrastructure, adding that the much-needed capacity in generation will come from gas to power and renewable energy.

“Addressing climate change alongside achieving sustainable development objectives is core to the approach to power sector investments. Natural gas has a role as the energy transition fuel for rapid economic growth and industrialization.

“It has several characteristics to play in supporting net zero transitions over the coming decades in Nigeria,” Adelabu said.

According to the minister, the on-grid energy mix in Nigeria is dominated by thermal (80 per cent) and hydro (20 per cent) power-generating sources.

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Given the interdependence of the gas and power sectors, he said both sectors need a coordinated approach to policy formulation and implementation to achieve the government objective of improving energy security and reducing energy poverty.

“You may be aware of the National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Policy in which Nigeria set the vision 30:30:30 to achieve 30GW of electricity by 2030 with renewable energy contributing 30 per cent of the energy mix.

“The plan is that hydroelectricity (both large and small hydro) will contribute 28 per cent and 19 per cent, respectively to the nation’s electricity generation mix by 2030,” he added.

In his remarks, Al-Mujtaba Abubakar, president of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), said natural gas has replaced coal as the fuel of choice for electricity production.

“Globally, natural gas has replaced coal as the fuel of choice for electricity production, with climate and air quality benefits.

“The rapid decrease in the cost of solar, wind and other renewable energy technologies makes these an even better alternative. Gas has a special role in the energy transition as a backup to a renewable-based power system because gas boilers can be turned on almost instantly while starting up a coal-fired power plant takes much longer,” he said.

According to him, Nigeria currently accounts for 33 per cent of the total gas reserves in Africa.

“With a reserve base of 36.97 billion barrels of oil and 208.83 trillion cubic feet of gas, which represents 33 per cent of Africa’s total gas reserves of 620 TCF, Nigeria can be described as a gas-rich nation ranking number one in Africa in reserves with a life index of 94 years.

“The rising global demand for cleaner energy sources has allowed Nigeria to exploit gas resources for the country’s good. This is an opportunity to buy in for the development of our dear nation.

“For us at the Chamber of Commerce, we take advantage of whatever would benefit the business community, improve economic growth, drive investments, and provide much-needed jobs for Nigerians.

“We are glad that this present administration pledged her unalloyed commitment to leveraging the domestic utilization, processing and international export of Nigeria’s massive gas resources as a transition fuel to catalyze the fundamental restructuring of the nation’s economy for expansive growth during this tenure,” he said.