BY CHRIS OCHAYI
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, has granted operatinglicence to international oil company, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, MPN, to build and operate a 575-megawatt power plant in Eket,AkwaIbom State.
Head, Public Affairs Department at NERC, Dr. Usman Abba Arabi, said in a statement that the planned power plant will boost Nigeria’s power sector. He added that with the MPN plant the country’s on-grid power generation capacity will grow in line with projected capacity upgrade to 20,000MW by 2020.
Arabi explained that the licence was issued by NERC after all stipulated requirements as regards license issuance were met by MPN.
According to the statement, “The power sector has just received a timely boost with the issuance of license to Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited to build a 575megawatt power station in Eket – AkwaIbom state of Nigeria.
“The license was issued by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission NERC after all stipulated requirements were met by the company,” it said.
The Vice Chairman, NERC, Mr. Muhammed Lawal Bello, acknowledged the significant stride taken by the company and assured them that, “NERC’s mandate is to ensure availability and reliability of electricity.”
The Chairman/Managing Director MPN, Mr. Mark R. Ward, described the occasion as a momentous one that has been a long time coming and thanked NERC for the spirit of collaboration.
He went further to say that, “the project provides a unique opportunity in the sense that there is ready fuel supply and connection to the grid.”
This development brings to three,the number of IOCs who are already playing major roles in the electricity industry in Nigeria. The two other oil companies, Shell and Agip, are already contributing 642 megawatts and 480 megawatts respectively to the national grid.