Why manufacturers are now looking for alternative sources of energy

by Ugo Okeke

Minister of Power Chinedu Nebo has announced that the government would not be able to deliver 10,000 megawatts of electricity by December this year as targeted, and that the new deadline has been set to the first quarter of 2015. This raises fear that Nigeria is still far away from becoming self-sufficient in terms of electricity supply.

Nigeria currently generates around 4,500mw of electricity, and Asian firms dominate the power generation sector.

To make up for the inadequacy of power supply, some manufacturers in the country have started to explore alternative forms of power supply. For instance, the management of Dangote Cement Plc announced that it was making a $250m investment in power plants in its Obajana, Ibeshe and Gboko plants. It said this would generate over 400mw and contribute to the national grid.

Lafarge Cement also commissioned its power plant in Ogun state recently in order to ensure continuous production without power interruption.

The new Ewekoro II plant is supported by a 90MW power plant, which was commissioned in 2011. The power plant has six 15mw units with a dual-firing system that can use both gas and liquid fuel.

Most recently, Total Nigeria Limited also announced its move to partner with various federal government institutions and international companies to fast-track the construction of solar power plants in Nigeria. The project is being done under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with state governments. The project is expected to deliver 1700mw of solar power in the next five to eight years.

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