Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has said gas availability was not responsible for Nigeria’s electricity crisis, contrary to claims by players in the power sector that shortage of gas was responsible for inadequacies in electricity supply.
Speaking with journalists at the Offshore Technology Conference, OTC 2013, Group Executive Director, Gas and Power, Dr. David Ige, noted that if anything, “gas supply has grown significantly over the three years.”
“If you look at the demand on ground, we can meet them. As we speak, gas is not the restrain of power. We are basically shutting in our gas supply as we speak.”
What, however, is the problem is the fact that there are some stranded supply, “because of power evacuation challenges,” which he attributed to transmission hiccups.
He argued that once this challenge is sorted, “supply will lack behind demand because new power plants keep coming. But we are also working on those supplies, and we keep catching up with them. So for the average Nigerian, all you are going to be seeing is the upward trend.”
According to him, once the power transmission problem is fixed, the available gas can then be evacuated.
Ige however admitted that Nigeria does not have enough gas to feed all the new power generating plants brought on stream, he said efforts were being made to boost supply, but said, “We have additional programmes of supply that are coming on towards the end of the year, and next year to catch up with that.
“Right now, for the average Nigerian on the street, if you are not seeing power as of this afternoon, then it is a gas problem.
“But there is gas as we speak. Except that there is more generating capacity than there is gas supply. But our overriding constraint is power transmission as we speak.
“If we have enough generating capacity, there is no reason we cannot generate and transmit close to about 4.6 or 4.7 Gigawatts.”