At a roundtable discussion with reporters held in Lagos on the topic “Powering the Future of Energy in Nigeria with GE”, the GE Gas Power disclosed that it anticipates adding about 500 megawatts (MW) of power to the country’s electricity grid by 2023 second quarter when its active projects would be successfully completed. The international corporation declared it has three new projects which would produce the stated power amount and focuses on the provision of tools, solutions, and services along the entire energy value chain, from production to consumption.
Mr. Mohammed Mijindadi, President and CEO of GE Nigeria, remarked that 2023 is an exciting year, citing the company projects at the 240MW Afam III power plant in Port Harcourt, 50MW project for Dangote Group to foster its cement and refinery operations, and another 50MW Maiduguri project with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), among others. With regards to power generation, he mentioned that GE’s service division optimizes already-built power plants and that the company plans to add several megawatts to the national power grid this year with at least three or four separate projects.
Different projects of the company will contribute to the national grid.
About 500 MW would be added as a result of the planned new projects. They are now working toward finishing the Afam III power plant in Port Harcourt, which is a 240-megawatt project. They are keeping their fingers crossed that the project will be finished by the close of this first quarter or the beginning of the second quarter. This is a significant project and while discussing GE’s activities, he acknowledges that they have designed it to ease the financial strain on the government.
Moreover, different structures were employed for each project. Unfortunately, that project has been ongoing since 2016. There have been changes and adjustments due to the new government, but it is hoped that it will be done by the end of the current quarter or the beginning of the next. The 50MW project being worked on by NNPC in Maiduguri is an emergency one. Hopefully, it will be completed soon. There is also a 50MW plant being built by Dangote Industries to power their cement and refinery facilities. According to Mr. Mijindadi, three ongoing projects are expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of this year.
The power sector still has many challenges that need fixing.
From Mr. Mijindadi’s observations, Nigeria’s power sector has several impediments. He noted that despite the country’s total installed capacity for generation of roughly 13,000 MW, only between 3,500 and 5,000 MW were generally accessible for distribution to the final customer. For him, this is characterized by heavy losses because of poor infrastructure and an increasing amount of specific technical and non-technical obstacles. He made an intriguing observation regarding the energy transition between COP26 and COP27: everyone realized that energy security is more important than any shift. The situation in Ukraine likely taught this realization the hard way.
Furthermore, he added that some primary challenges are inadequate transmission and distribution facilities, insufficient power sector capital investment and upgrading, the lack of cost-reflective prices, gas supply shortages, high occurrences of load rejection, and the incorporation of power sector restructuring that the sector is currently facing. Mr. Mijindadi further claimed that GE’s technologies have continued to fulfil Nigeria’s energy needs. He explained that the company’s designed technologies provide up to 65% of the on-grid gas output using gas turbines and grid equipment.
Nigeria needs to do more to survive before thinking of transition.
Speaking on the likelihood that Nigeria will achieve its net-zero goal by 2060, he noted that the country’s preservation and energy sustenance should come first before any transition because, in his view, one needs to exist before transiting. As a result, he believes the administration has taken action. After all is said and done, he believes that the government’s ability to provide for its people and to keep industrializing will be the deciding factor, with the transition occurring gradually as they progress.