–Another N9bn from PRSP in process
–13 plants generate 2,054MW
–FG seeks new investment to boost gas supply to EU
By Obas Esiedesa
ABUJA-The Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) on Sunday disclosed that it has paid power generation companies (GenCos) N39 billion for power generated in January.
NBET in a note to Vanguard at the weekend said the GenCos would be paid another N9 billion from the Power Sector Reform Programme soon.
The company noted that the amount was paid despite the electricity distribution companies (DisCos) remitting only 51 percent of their invoice during the same period.
“NBET paid N39 billion to GENCOs in first tranche of payments towards the settlement of January 2022 Payment Cycle. DisCos performance for same period is 51 percent.
“Another N9 billion from the PRSP has been approved and processed by NBET as further payments to the GenCos”, it added.
The latest payment brings to over N80 billion paid to the GenCos in the last two months. NBET said it expects the GenCos to also make similar payments to the gas suppliers.
The GenCos had in the past two weeks blamed their inability to generate more power to the grid on the indebtedness of NBET to them.
Checks on the national grid performance by Vanguard showed that as at 3pm yesterday only 13 of the nation’s 32 power plants were generating 2,054.70 Megawatts with Azura-Edo plant highest at 399MW and Geregu (gas) at 394MW.
New investment needed to boost gas supply to EU
Meanwhile, the Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva has said that Nigeria was ready to step in as alternative gas supplier to the European Union following sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
Chief Sylva stated this when EU ambassadors to Nigeria led by the Ambassador Samuela Isopi visited him in Abuja.
The Minister explained that “one of the things we warned against earlier was the speed with which EU was taking away investments in fossil fuels. We warned that the speed was faster than they were developing renewable energy. You can see now that what we were warning against is what is happening now”.
He told the delegation that what has stunted the growth in the development of gas in Nigeria has been the lack of fresh investments and called for a change of attitude if the request by the EU to increase supplies to Europe is to be realized.
“One of the biggest problems we have in the sector has been investments. In the last 10 years over $70 billion worth of investments came to Africa but sadly less than $4 billion came to Nigeria and surprisingly we are the biggest in Africa. If we cannot attract investments in Nigeria, you know where we are heading.
“You have been our long time friend. As at today, our gas reserve is one of the biggest in the world. We have a proven gas reserve of 206 tcf and if we really focus on gas exploitation we can get up to 600 tcf. Nigeria is arguably the best territory to invest.
“We are already building gas infrastructure such as the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipeline project which is expected to take gas to Algeria and the West Africa Gas Pipeline project designed to take gas to Morocco. As you can see we are already building infrastructure that will take gas to Europe. All we need is investments. We acknowledge that there are challenges in the sector but we should partner to help solve the problem”, Sylva further stated.
In her response, Ambassador Isopi urged Nigeria to take advantage of the opportunity offered by the present crisis in Europe to shore up gas supplies to Europe.
She appealed to Nigeria to step into that gap supply chain as an alternative to Russia adding that the country must not allow the opportunity to pass it by.
While reflecting on the security situation in the Niger Delta that drastically impacted on gas supply in the last few years, Isopi urged the Nigerian government to step up security in the region to guarantee gas supply to EU member states.
She particularly expressed concern over the spate of attacks on Shell, Eno and Total Energies’s gas infrastructure that led to the declaration of force majure by the companies and noted that the development was of great concern to Europe.
“The recent developments in the Niger Delta is of great concern to us,” she said adding that the EU was however reassured by the recent visit by Sylva and other top government officials to the site of the vandalized infrastructure in the region.