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Energy transition spur development in Nigeria

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By Usman Oladimeji

Seplat Energy is committed to improving Nigeria’s access to reliable energy.

Chief Executive Officer of Seplat Energy Plc, Mr. Roger Brown, has disclosed that the Energy transition has created tremendous opportunities in Nigeria as it supports economic and social development, job creation, and improved health and education. He disclosed this during a panel session at the University of Dundee Alumni, Nigeria Chapter seminar held at the weekend in Lagos. The panel session, which addresses the topic ‘Optimizing energy security in a global transition era, also provided a platform for the panelists to x-ray the current global trajectory of the energy transition and how energy security could be guaranteed in the face of transition, relating the subject to Nigeria’s domestic market situation.

Mr. Brown explained that the energy transition conundrum is about how stakeholders balance three realities of climate change and the need to decarbonize the world, the need for energy security and the urgent need for economic development in Africa, tackling poverty and lack of access to energy. He affirms that Seplat Energy remains committed to enhancing Nigeria’s access to affordable and reliable energy that drives social and economic development that aligns with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Nigeria’s gas resources need to be utilized for people, business benefits.

Furthermore, he said that by developing the gas industry and utilizing biomass for cooking, Nigeria’s population can be transitioned away from expensive and polluting diesel generators. Mr. Brown asserts that Nigeria can be transformed into a more attractive destination for global energy investment that will allow the country to fund its energy transition plan (ETP) towards lower-carbon energy sources, such as using gas to provide baseload and renewables. He believes that with concerted effort, development for Africa can be achievable at a little incremental cost to the environment.

According to Brown, Nigeria’s gas resources need to be utilized for the direct benefit of Nigerians in order to increase the production of grid-scale energy that will power people’s homes without choking them on diesel fumes and allow them to cook without having to collect firewood and run the risk of open fires in the home. Businesses all around Nigeria will be provided with power by the gas-fired power plant in order to generate income at much cheaper rates.

Seplat Energy aims to integrate gas-fired power and solar arrays.

He further notes that increasing access to cheaper, more reliable energy has a plethora of beneficial consequences that will drive economic and social growth in Nigeria; access to energy promotes wealth creation, improves health, and allows Nigeria to meet development targets. The CEO of Seplat Energy highlighted gas as a natural transition fuel that will facilitate a longer-term transition to renewables, stressing that Seplat Energy is investigating methods to integrate gas-fired power production with solar arrays, so gas can supply crucial baseload overnight.

Seplat Energy is a major supplier of gas for domestic power in Nigeria. It produces 300MMscfd, which is enough to power 1GW of generation. Adding ANOH and Sapele will add 2GW by 2024. Mr. Brown, who is also an alumnus of the University of Dundee, commended the school’s Alumni, Nigeria Chapter for organizing the event together and charting the right path for the energy industry. In turn, the Alumni congratulated Mr. Brown for his excellence at Seplat Energy whilst presenting him with an excellence award.

Government plans to increase gas production to boost energy generation.

In the same vein, the Nigerian Government is committed to achieving universal energy access by 2030 and wants to transition to net-zero emissions by 2060. It also targets encouraging economic and income growth by meeting the rising energy needs of industry and a growing population. Additionally, the Nigerian Government aims to increase gas production to boost generation and as a ‘cleaner transition fuel. It is a difficult balancing act for a country heavily reliant on hydrocarbons, but one that can be achieved by maximizing the potential of off-grid solar.

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