Government throws weight behind LNG to power plants
In line with its ambition to supply power to Nigerians, the Federal Government has shown interest in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as a source of power to deprived plants in the country.
According to the Federal Government, the idea is to focus on new avenues to supply parts of the country that has no pipelines to carry the gas to the power plants in the area, especially the North.
The Minister of State for Power, Godwin Agba, noted that the wait for pipelines to be constructed in the northern part of the country would not spur industrialisation for economic benefits, hence the thought to partner with operators to facilitate the transportation of LNG to power plants in the northern part of the country via road.
He advanced that the government has an interest in such investments because when the facility, which has three trains already, begins full operations, plants in Kaduna and Kano can be supplied, adding that it would be a great relief for his ministry, aside boosting power generation.
“Kaduna power plant could use LNG from here of course, but I am not in the capacity to commit, but we would patronise Greenville to the best of our ability if they keep to the terms of agreements, so hopefully we are in partnership,” the minister remarked.
Agba, at the tour of the facility at Rumuji, Port Harcourt, said he would stop at nothing to facilitate the progress of feeding Kaduna power plant from Greenville LNG, and he promised to fight within his power any hindrance to the project.
The management of Greenville, however, noted that unlike before when the government didn’t realise the potentials in harnessing LNG, it is a step in the right direction for them now to begin to look at solving the nation’s electricity problems from another angle.
Explaining further on the quest to bridge the energy gap in the North, Greenville Chairman, Eddy van den Broeke, maintained that there is a social-economic problem in the country where the north has no gas pipelines and are handicapped, and the abandonment of the Kaduna plant by General Electric (GE) has really necessitated the supply.
He observed that the claim that electricity can’t be supplied nationwide would be erased when the government promotes more investment to harness LNG in Nigeria, adding that if such projects can be replicated, Nigeria’s power problem would gradually be solved.
Van den Broeke, further revealed that full operations would commence by January 2020, when the second train would have been functional, while train one is set to start running by the end of November.