FG, UNIDO to establish small power plants in 4 states

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ABUJA – The Energy Commission of Nigeria said the Federal Government, in partnership with United Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), plans to establish small power plants in four states, using rice husk to generate electricity.

Prof. Jere Bala, the Director-General of the commission, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.

Bala named the states as , Adamawa, Gombe and Bayelsa.

He said an additional 5 MW pilot power plant would be established in to complement the existing 30 KW bio-mass pilot, using rice husk to generate electricity in the state.

He said after the completion of the project in Ebonyi, government would then replicate it in other rice growing states of Niger, Adamawa, Gombe and Bayelsa.

Bala said the replication was aimed at promoting industrialisation, employment and empowerment of the citizens in the country.

He said the signing of Memorandum of Understanding with the government and UNIDO had brought about the establishment of small power plant development pilot projects in the country.

He said the commission, in collaboration with UNIDO, had already established 150 kw small hydro plants in Waya Dam in State, 130 kw in Enugu State and 400 kw inTaraba.

Bala, said the Federal Government had developed 30 MW small hydro-plant in Gurara, noted that many more dams would be built in partnership with private investors.

Many more dams are expected to come now through exploiting the existing down and realising the potentiality for electricity generation.’’

He said UNIDO, through its Regional Centre for Small Hydro-Power Plant and the commission, had developed lots of feasibility studies that would encourage capacity building of the people for the project.

He said the issues of renewable energy in terms of power development had come to stay in Nigeria and it was expected to provide 20 per cent of the country’s power supply.

The D-G said by 1999, the availability of power was less 2,000 MW while the installed capacity was 6,000 MW but noted that Nigeria currently had 10,000 MW with available 4,000 MW.

He said that privatisation of the power sector would soon increase the level of electricity supply across the country.

“The private sector has high efficiency which will improve electricity production. It is going to improve because nobody will invest and dump his money.’’

The D-G said the situation would improve as 75 per cent of Nigerians would have access to electricity by 2030.

He said the commission was mandated to strategic plans for national policy to ensure adequate and affordable supply of energy.

Bala said all these were integrated into the National Energy Master Plan and the Renewable Energy Master Plan, adding that a lot of development had been ongoing in line with the plans.

The D-G said stakeholders from the power sector, the petroleum, the solid mineral (coal energy), the nuclear power sector and the renewable sector were involved in the development of the plans.

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Bala said the economic and social development of any country depended on the adequate and constant supply of energy, saying Nigeria had been growing about seven per cent from alternative energy.

He said for Nigeria to achieve self sufficiency of power supply, the sector had to be private-sector-driven “and that is why reforms are ongoing at the power and energy sector”.

“Energy is necessary to drive growth. The grind is the cheapest sources of energy,’’ he said.

He said the commission’s mandate was to strategic plans for National Energy Policy on renewable energy, adding that the renewable master plan was developed in conjunction with UNDP.

He said the commission would collaborate with the public and private sectors, NGOs, academia, universities, research centres and CBOs, to establish synergy among the stakeholders for development of renewable energy.(NAN)