By Prince Okafor
Nigeria’s power supply may leap over 3,000 megawatts (MW) to over 4,000 MW as Siemens Nigeria has concluded plans to add 3 Gigawatts, GW, of electricity to the national grid by 2020
This even as the Chief Executive officer, Siemens Nigeria, Mr. Onyeche Tifase stated that, end-to-end electrification can push the nation to a top-20 economy by 2030.
According to him, “70 million Nigerians will move above the poverty line by 2030. To realise this, Nigeria must invest in power generation, transmission, distribution and the efficient application of electrical energy via automation.
“To make electricity more easily accessible to the whole population, power generation capacity must be ramped up and streamlined.
“The Azura Edo Independent Power Project (IPP) helps to meet both of these criteria. This open cycle gas turbine will generate an additional 459 MW to the national grid when it comes online in 2018.
“Once fully completed, it is expected to add 3 GW of additional capacity – accounting for approximately 20 percent of Nigeria’s projected installed capacity by 2020. That is a massive increase in power generation for a country at Nigeria’s stage of development.
“International studies suggest that Nigeria could potentially achieve over 7 percent annual Gross Domestic Product, GDP, growth, making it a top-20 economy by 2030 with GDP of more than US$1.6 trillion – four times the current GDP.
“This translates into 70 million people being moved above the poverty line in little more than a decade. But the fact remains that this potential will never be realised without sufficient access to end-to-end electrification, which is the backbone of any thriving economy.”
“60 percent of Nigeria’s 182 million population have access to electricity. The majority of this power is generated by an ageing and inefficient grid that loses 8.6 GW (69 percent) of the country’s 12.5 GW installed capacity.”
However, he lamented that the power sector loses are due to inefficient controls, monitoring technology and outdated infrastructure.
”Investment in proven end-to-end electrification technology will directly tackle the scourge of unemployment, poverty and inequality, creating an inclusive and prosperous Nigeria.
“In recent years, there has been a mind shift away from the traditional notion of generating large volumes of power for the entire population from only a handful of large centralised sources. We are now turning to smaller decentralised sources to generate electricity closer to the people who use it.
“With uninterrupted access to electricity, businesses are more productive, hospitals provide better medical care, children receive a better education at school, and homes are safer and more comfortable.
“The Nigerian government’s Power Sector Recovery Program (PSRP) has already made strides in implementing power sector reform, reducing losses in DisCos, enhancing the sector’s financial viability, increasing access to electricity services, and mobilising private sector investment.
“For the PSRP to succeed, government and independent power producers should work collaboratively with tried and trusted suppliers with proven global experience and expertise across the entire value chain, including power generation, transmission, distribution and automation.”