Nigeria: NNPC plans to shift focus to power generation and transmission
(Ecofin Agency) - Nigeria’s state oil company, NNPC, plans to shift its focus from mainly oil and gas to power generation and transmission, in a bid to tackle the country’s power challenges.
“The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) wants to transform into an integrated energy outfit with interest in power generation and transmission. The decision to diversify into the power sector was hinged on the need to bridge the huge energy gap in the Nigerian market,” Maikanti Baru (photo), NNPC’s managing director, said not disclosing the timeline or the size of planned investment for the change.
Nigeria’s power generation and electricity grid have been affected by lack of investment and poor infrastructure. This has made many people in the country depend on private generators.
According to local media, no fewer than 70 million generators have been imported into the country due to the situation.
While the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) attributes the situation to shortage of gas, which is the feedstock of power plants across the country, NNPC says there is enough gas to generate 8 GW of electricity but the transmission network is not capable of handling the load.
Earlier this month, NNPC disclosed plans to invest $15billion in the construction of thermal plants with a capacity to generate 4, 000 MW of power across Nigeria within the next 10 years. Three of these plants would be built in Abuja, Kaduna and Kano.
Nigeria in 2013, privatized most of its power sector but maintained control of the ailing TCN.