EU keen to invest US$165mn in Nigeria’s power sector

powerlinenigeria-pixabayThe NERC is exploring power generation solutions using natural gas as well as solar. (Image source: Pixabay)The European Union (EU) has revealed plans to invest US$165mn in Nigeria’s power sector, in a bid to improve access to electricity in the country

According to an EU representative Peter Cameron, the organisation is keen on investing in the West African nation’s energy sector by identifying problems within the sector as well as shortlisting potential projects that could help increase access to electricity. Specifically, Cameron added, solar energy topped the list of energy solutions that the EU was willing to explore.

EU representative Gerrit Clarke also reiterated that solar could be employed in the new partnership to improve access to electricity in Nigeria. In addition to exploring viable project options, Clarke said that the EU was also inspecting bottlenecks in the energy sector.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) Dr. Sam Amadi also revealed the possibility of using natural gas to enhance access to power. Specifically, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is also being considered for discussions in order to boost on-grid power generation to 5,000MW in July.

Amadi explained further that such generation growth could move to 6,000MW and 9,000MW by 2016 when the East-West gas pipeline project would be completed. The project is expected to provide stable gas supply to power plants built under the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs).

“We are always grateful for such support to the sector. The obvious bottleneck is supply. Average generation is 3,800MWs currently. Two months earlier, we were low on supply due to vandalism as well as lack of supply from gas producers,” he said.

However, the NNPC has assured the NERC that gas supply will improve in the months to come, and by the end of the month, power generation could exceed 5,500MW.

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