Seplat unfolds plan to end gas flaring, gets FG’s endorsement
Federal Government has endorsed plan by Seplat Energy Plc to spearhead transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy and end gas flaring in 2024.
The endorsement came at the second yearly Seplat Energy Summit in Abuja, themed, “Global Trends in Energy Transition: the African Perspective.”
It attracted experts from private and public sectors, including top government functionaries, ministers, governors, members of the National Assembly, royal fathers from Seplat Energy’s host communities, leaders of public and private institutions, investors and heads of shareholders.
Seplat also seized the opportunity of the summit to announce a change of name from Seplat Petroleum to Seplat Energy Plc and unveil its new logo.
The Chairman of Seplat Energy Plc, A.B.C. Orjiako, said the change reflects the company’s belief that the greatest opportunity ahead is to supply the right mix of energy for Nigeria’s rapidly growing population.
In his opening remarks, he unfolded his company’s plan to transit to cleaner energy by ending gas flaring in its operations, six years ahead of government target.
According to him, Seplat Energy will end gas flaring by 2024, and will ensure replacement of firewood in homes with Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG), a cleaner energy source.
The move, he said, would make sure the environment is protected. He also announced tree-planting initiative, which would commence soon, with the attendant benefits of youth employment and cleaner environment.
“Replacing diesel generators with cleaner renewable energy will definitely solve Nigeria’s power deficit,” he added.
The presentation was greeted by endorsements by ministers, royal fathers and other dignitaries present. The Special Guest of Honour at the summit, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, represented by Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, underscored the need for policies that must align with energy security, to foster a smooth energy transition across various levels of energy demand.
He also stressed the relevance of the summit, stating: “Over the next decade, every segment in Nigeria will be affected by this shift in energy supply and demands.”
Reacting to the presentation of Seplat’s transition plan, the Minister of State, Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, gave the first endorsement, saying her ministry would support and follow the plan.
It was equally endorsed by Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva; Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Ogbonnaya Onu, among others.
Sylva also seized the opportunity of the summit to restate Federal Government’s commitment to deregulation, stating that government had no option but deregulate fully the downstream petroleum sector.
According to him, this implies that Nigerians should prepare to pay for the actual cost of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).
“The deregulation of downstream petroleum sector is yet another strategy proposed to enable energy transition in Nigeria.
Government is in the process of fully deregulating the downstream petroleum sector which will end subsidies and free up funds for national development, including investment in renewables which will be part of the energy mix that ultimately powers our economy,” he said, even as he announced rejection by the Federal Government of a single pathway to energy transition and opted for multiple approaches.
A panelist at the event and the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Simbi Wabote, stressed the need for Nigerians to move from talking about the transition to actually doing something about energy change.
He said: “What we should talk about is energy remix. When you look at the years in which we transited from coal to oil, it was about 160 years and today Nigeria is very rich in gas and if we want to transit successfully as a country, then we must transit our destination fuel to gas.
“But this cannot happen if we sit down and continue to have this conversation without taking action because when we went from coal to oil, we did nothing and we were forced to follow the trajectory. Now, if the world moves from oil to renewable, we will also be pushed to focus on renewable and abandon our God-given resources.”