By Sebastine Obasi
The Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo, yesterday said that Nigeria’s independent power plants, NIPPs require about 11 billion cubic feet of gas daily to operate.
Addressing participants at the annual conference of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists NAPE, Nebo said that presently, Nigeria’s daily power output is about four gigawatts of which 3.1 gigawatts are fuelled by about 880 million standard cubic feet daily.
“Today, Nigeria’s daily power output is some 4 GW of power of which some 3.1 GW is fuelled by about 880 MMscf/d. The opportunity for gas-fuelled IPPs therefore stands at roughly 39 GW for which about 11 Bcf/d of gas will be required,” he said.
The minister explained that if the gap was to be filled by IPPs of the size of Gbarain or Omoku, Nigeria would be looking at over 170 of them, each requiring some 60 MMscf.
According to the minister, the reason for the focus on gas is that as significant as the other sources of fuel are, gas will remain the main source of fuel for the electricity industry, filling about 70 percent of the demand.
He said, “Associated gas is currently providing some 880 MMscf/d of gas to fuel the generation of some 3,100 MW of power per day. This is against an available capacity of about 7,800 MW of thermal power, for which some 1.9 Bcf/d of gas would be required. This represents a deficit of about 1 Bcf/d today.”
The minister also said that to address the shortfall in gas supply as well as meet the anticipated demand, calls for different approaches to the exploitation of available gas resources.
“We now need to look more at the exploitation of non-associated gas. This means that in addition to our traditional sources in the prolific Niger Delta, we need to look farther afield at marginal fields and the inland basins including the Anambra and Bida basins and the Benue Trough.
“In order words, our gas growth needs for power have to be met through dedicated gas developments, targeted at producing gas for power,” the minister added.