*Targets 1,000MW from reactivated 14 solar projects
*Tasks gas operators on the accuracy of dispensing instruments
The federal government yesterday explained that the drop in electricity generation was a result of the partial shutdown of the Oben gas plant for the repair of critical gas processing equipment.
It has also disclosed that the 14 reactivated independent power plants (IPP) across the country will produce off-grid electricity of 1,000 megawatts.
A statement by the Federal Ministry of Power disclosed that Seplat Energy Plc had mobilised equipment, material, and personnel to the site to expedite the restoration of normal gas supply to the affected power plants.
The statement read: “We wish to notify the general public that the current dip in electricity generation is a result of the partial shutdown of the Oben gas plant to address the repair of critical gas processing equipment.”
“The incident, unfortunately, occurred at a time when other power plants on other gas sources are undergoing planned maintenance and capacity testing.
“We wish to notify the public that Seplat Energy Plc has mobilised equipment, material, and personnel to the site to expedite the restoration of normal gas supply to the affected power plants.
“We have been assured that the repair work would be concluded this weekend and normalcy will be restored. While pleading with electricity consumers with the current state of supply, we wish to assure the general public that efforts are being made for a sustained improvement of supply across the country.”
Meanwhile, the Minister of Power Abubakar Aliyu has disclosed that the 14 reactivated IPP across the country will produce off-grid electricity of 1,000 MW.
Aliyu disclosed the maiden three-day Nigeria-African Natural Resource and Energy Investment Summit hosted by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development in collaboration with other stakeholders in Abuja.
The maiden event has the theme: “Towards a Greener Africa” which ended at the weekend.
The minister said, “government has reactivated 14 IPP Solar Projects across the country. These IPPs, which are currently undergoing Technical and Financial Evaluation, shall contribute 1000MW off-grid. 10 state governments are enabling solar projects in their states that will deliver 100MW each contributing 1,000MW off-grid.
“The 10MW Katsina Wind Farms already contributing to the grid and is being considered for a solar hybrid that will optimise its availability to 20MW. Once we stabilise the base load through the hydropower plants at various stages of completion, we shall integrate all the off-grid structures to the national grid, increasing our energy mix.”
He noted that African governments must be proactive and responsive to the course collectively as that is a prerequisite for achieving a cleaner energy future, adding “It is only by this can Africa actualise its green transition”.
Speaking further on international partnership toward greener energy, Aliyu said, “Countries, like Nigeria, have made commitments to achieve their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in line with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the COP26 Agreement in Glasgow.
“To achieve this, we have to scale up our Solar, Wind, hydropower, and even the new hydrogen opportunities, including other new clean technologies.
Africa needs to focus on proven approaches, as well as the mobilisation of resources to take advantage of carbon-neutral energy sources.
FG Tasks Gas Operators on Accuracy of Dispensing Instruments
In a related development, the federal government has directed operators in the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) sector to install deadweight at their premises to test the accuracy of weighbridges used for dispensing bulk gas to retailers.
The government also insisted that henceforth, the use of weighbridges should be the norm at depot terminals when loading LPG products rather than the use of gas meters to ensure that the product being dispensed is accurate since LPG is retailed by weight.
The resolution came against the backdrop of persistent complaints of under-dispensing of products at LPG depot terminals as well as retail outlets across the country.
The federal government’s position was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of a one-day stakeholders engagement organised by the Weights and Measures Department of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, with the Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM) and Liquefied Petroleum Gas Depot Owners (LPGDO) on the application of legal metrology in the oil and gas sectors in Nigeria.
It was gathered that the outcome of the meeting had already been approved by the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Mr. Niyi Adebayo for immediate implementation.
The communiqué, which was obtained by Newsmen further, directed that henceforth, tankers used for loading and transporting LPG should ensure that they gauge their tank pressures to conform with safety standards before loading to avoid incurring shortages due to excessive gas in their tanks during loading.
It also pointed out that as a matter of urgent necessity, the weights and measures department should embark on periodic inspections of the LPG depot terminals to ascertain their level of compliance with operational guidelines.
It was also agreed that the existing skill gaps noticeable in weighbridges installation should be addressed adding that the quality of gas in the market should be of a high standard with less propane and which should be enforced by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA).
The federal government however warned that depot terminal operators found to be under-dispensing the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) as well as marketers to consumers will be penalised and urged the weights and measures department to strengthen its oversight functions of the numerous LPG retail outlets across the nooks and crannies of the country.
Moreover, on the issue of overlapping duties between the department and NMDPRA, the stakeholders resolved that the activities of the department revolved around the verification and certification of measuring equipment which is statutorily backed by existing legislation while the former dwelled on the issuance of licenses to petroleum product dealers.
The Director, Weights and Measures Department, Mr. Hassan Ejibunu, however, told Newsmen, “We’ve been receiving complaints from NALPGAM that whatever they buy in bulk from the terminals, maybe 33,000 litres of LPG, but by the time it gets to the final destination you’ll find out it is less than 33,000 litres – may be what is left is about 30,000 litres or less than that.
“We equally received complaints from members of the public that if they go to the retail outlets to buy let’s say 12.5 KG cylinder of LPG, what they’ll get is not up to that.”
He said the stakeholder’s engagement was convened to address the underlying issues and to ensure that consumers of gas get value and accuracy for every purchase they make.