By Franklin Alli
ManufacturersÂ Association of Nigeria (MAN), Tuesday, declared it hasnâ€™t quit its independent power projects (IPP) for major industrial axises in Lagos, Ogun, and Kano State, respectively.
This was the reaction of MAN President, Alhaji Bashir Borodo to a recent media report (not in Vanguard), which alleged that MAN has abandoned the IPP projects it embarked upon three years ago. â€œIt was a misleading story. The IPPâ€™s on course, and we have gone far,â€ said Borodo, in a telephone interview with Vanguard, Tuesday.
He cleared up â€œDespite abundance of natural gas in the country, there has been acute supply shortage of the commodity, hence, we decided to go for smaller power plants of 30 mega watts that can use both gas, and black oil (LPFO) in each of the industrial areas instead of the initial 625 mega watts and 120 mega watts.â€
The Association, disclosed, decided to opt for gas and LPFO driven power plants so that whenever there is shortage of gas, we can switch to the use of black oil.
â€œWe have discovered that there has been frequent shortage of gas, and from the Elumelu report it shows that gas will not be available for us to continue the project. Even government power plants that have been commissioned are not functioning as a result of gas shortage.â€
â€œWe have decided to use gas distributed by Gaslink, a subsidiary of Oando PLC.Â There are two issues as far as the supply of gas is concerned to the various plants. One is the quality of the gas. Most of the plants are supposed to be using dry gas but sometimes we have problems with the gas that is being supplied, it may be wet. I can tell you categorically that the Otorogun Gas Plant comes out with wet gas and that gas contains condensate and it is because of the condensate that vandals attack the pipeline to be able to get condensate
â€œThe second problem is the issue of security for the pipeline. Because of the presence of condensate in many of the pipelines, people vandalise the pipelines, so how do we secure the pipeline?â€
The major challenge facing the real sector, the manufacturers emphasised, has always been inconsistent power supply and the non implementation of industrial policy.
Vanguard, learnt that the decision by MAN to invest in IPPS was borne out of the fact that
â€œOver the ten years, the manufacturing sector had been bedeviled with the problem of inadequate power supply which has had negative effects on the performance of the sector, and therefore, itâ€™s envisaged that with the coming on stream of the power plants, cost of production will be significantly reduced as manufacturers will now have access to steady power supply while the need to depend on the use of generators at enormous cost will become a thing of the past.
On Kano Wind Power, he stated that the State government has approve the construction of the 30mega watts wind energy plants while memorandum of understanding has also been signed with technical partners for work to begin on the project which will be financed by a local bank.