Gas utility as a major resource for electricity generation is beginning to take the fron-tis-piece in Nigeria’s power sector. The product before now was limited to providing cheap energy for cooking but its necessity and impact in power generation has become so significant that the problem of regular electricity supply in this country can only be aggressively addressed with the use of gas.
There is increasing interest among Federal and State Governments as well as companies towards absolute utilisation of gas to facilitate electricity generation.
The Federal Government’s focus now is on how to increase gas supply to power plants in this country through the aggressive execution of the on-going 12 –month gas emergency time line to fire the gas-to-power scheme.
On its part, the Kwara State Government is already discussing with some investors that would use gas to generate electricity for the state. The Governor, Abiola Ajimobi acknowledged the importance of gas pipeline to the development agenda of his administration, when the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) led by its Chairman, Hon. Dakuku Peterside visted him at Ibadan recently on oversight function to assess NNPP facilities there. Peterside directed that faulty gas pipelines should be repaired without delay.
The managing Director, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Mutiu Sunmonu said Shell is taking adeguate steps to improve gas supply to power plants in the country, pointing out that the company’s Utorogu Gas Plant in Ugheli, Delta State currently products 250 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscf/d) while work is going on at a new plant designed to increase capacity to about 510 mmscf/d which will have significant impact on power generation.
While the Ministry of Power Resources, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), International Oil Companies and the Nigeria Gas Company (NGC) are making efforts to bridge the gap in gas supply, the Managing Director of Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), Mr. James Olotu says the delivery of the 1,025 megawatts into the national grid would be dependent on the availability of gas. He said that many power stations across the country are facing gas constraints which is being already addressed by the Federal Government.
According to him, Omotosho Power Plant has commenced operation and 70 megawatts added to National Grid through the plant, noting that in Sapele power station, only one unit can be fired, out of the three units because of gas constraints. With its unending complaints and sharp practices among the staff, the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) is owing the Nigeria Gas Company an over N40 billlion for gas supplied.
In 2010, government’s efforts at improving power supply got a boost with the commencement of gas supply to PHCN facilities through the NGC and via the Pan Ocean Oil Corporation (POOC), operator of the NNPC Pan Ocean Joint Venture. POOC currently supplies 50 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscf/f) of gas to the NGC from its Ovade-Ogharefe gas processing plant.
Pan Ocean managing Director, Mr. Festus Fadeyi once said. “We are very pleased that Pan Ocean is leading the flare-out agenda of the Federal Government and has commenced supply of gas to increase power generation to the national electricity grid”.
Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), Brass Managing Director, Mr. Vincenzo Diloriuzo noted that there is enough gas in the country to ensure the success of the LNG project.
Government has over the time showed lack of political will in the issue of gas flare. Gas flare has negative effect on man and environment yet nothing was done, it takes a strong political will to actualise the gas-to-power agenda of the present administration vis-à-vis adequate generation, distribution and transmission of electricity through availability of sufficient gas. At the moment, gas produced for local consumption has grown to 930 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscf/d) and power generation from gas is more than 1829 megawatts.
Nigeria is adjudged the world’s 7th largest producer of high grade gas with zero per cent sulphur and rich in natural gas liquids with proven huge reserves of more than 182 tonnes per cubic feet, so our gas capacity should be enough to achieve the gas-to-power aspiration of the Federal Government, and make gas readily available to industrial customers that should in turn generate accelerated growth of manufacturing. We have a number of oil and gas companies that control a considerable share of the gas distribution here in the country and generally the gas market worldwide.
Utilising such companies maximally will facilitate the country’s power projects.
Not just international oil companies should participate in the gas project but indigenous firms should be given priority attention or consideration. Gas to power distribution is the boost the country actually needs now and there must be a corrupt –free national strategy for managing the gas revenues.
In his Democracy Day nationwide broadcast, President Goodluck Jonathan announced the government’s plan to ensure reliable power supply through the judicious implementation of the power sector road map which is at an advanced stage to fully privatise the generation and distribution of electricity to all levels of the country.
According to him, his administration is committed to the provision of regular and uninterrupted power supply, which he said remains unwavering, adding “we all agree that adequate and regular power supply will be the significant figure to enhance transmission with capacity and accelerate growth. It is for this reason that I remain optimistic that the reform we have initiated, the decisions we have taken so far and the plans we intend to strictly prosecute will yield desired result”.
He disclosed that to underline this commitment, a special session on power was convened to engage Custain Construction Company in contracting for gas production and delivery to ensure enough availability of power.
The President directed that the power sector reform was concluded on schedule and that the privatisation of the sector will be completed according to plan. The privatisation process, he noted, has attracted expression of interest from 131 companies across the globe.
The Federal Government has a two-point approach to the power agenda which are immediate repair of power plants as well as transmission and distribution of infrastructure in the short term and the building of power stations and provision of enablance to attract investors. It is also committed to accelerating the completion of the National Independent Power Project (NIPP) while building about 4,000 Kilometers of transmission lines and hundreds of substations, just as the design for the construction of hydro-power plants which will add about 3,000 megawatts to the national grid has been completed.
The National gas Emergency plan has not helped the problem of gas supply due to poor planning.
One yardstick to measure the level of development of any nation is its power generating capacity. Power is a critical element as it drives growth and development.
In Nigeria, generating adequate power to drive the economy has been a nagging problem and the problem continues to be insurmountable as efforts by previous governments could not yield the desired results. The availability of reliable electricity power to homes and businesses of our citizens has been one item in our national life that we have approached with so much hope and yet experiencing so much frustration over the past decades.
In recent decades, subsequent regimes have put in billions of naira to reverse the neglect and mismanagement which has characterised the power sector. The President Jonathan-led administration has expressed the commitment to bring an end to the nation’s stunted growth and usher in the fresh air of prosperity by pursuing a new era of sector-wide reform, which is driven by improved service delivery to every class of customer in the Nigeria electricity sector.
This prompted Jonathan to set up the Presidential Action Committee on Power, which he explained was to eliminate bureaucracy and inefficiency in decision-taking. He expressed the hope that the power sector reforms would succeed like that of the telecommunications sector.
Gas fired plants had been established across the country, capable of generating between 25,000 megawatts and 30,000 MW and many investors have indicated interest to invest in the power sector, so the problem of lack of gas to run existing power plants must be resolved to ensure that sufficient gas is available for more power plants that are being planned.
Nigerians are complaining that in spite of poor power supply, they are paying high electricity bills and they are expecting the government to quicken the installation of pre-paid meter in every household so that people pay for what they consume. A good number of Nigerians are also expecting President Jonathan to make a difference and to be the first leader to permanently solve the power problem in this country.
There are challenges which if not properly addressed by the government could truncate the growth plans in the gas to power initiative which include funding, regulations, sanctity of contract and community issues amongst others. The government must look into them critically and urgently too. A situation where local finance institutions are not able to muster the finance for gas sector investment even after the capitalisation exercise is totally unacceptable and will not urgur well for the sector.
‘Renewable Energy Waste Crisis Is Much Worse Than You Think’
Waste disposal is not a popular topic of discussion in the media when it comes to renewable energy. Most of the coverage that solar and wind power is getting is strongly positive, with a focus on falling costs and rising efficiencies, as well as government plans for huge increases in installed capacity. Yet problems tend to lurk and wait to spring up. Now, the waste problem is springing up.
TheInternational Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimated in 2016 that unless we made significant changes to our treatment of solar panels, they could add up to 78 million tons of waste. The IRENA did not phrase it this way. It said that “recycling or repurposing solar PV panels at the end of their roughly 30-year lifetime can unlock an estimated stock of 78 million tonnes of raw materials and other valuable components globally by 2050.”
The thing is that most panels do not live to see their 30th birthday, as an article in the Harvard Business Review from June pointed out. Solar waste, it said, is growing much faster than it should have, theoretically. This is because another thing that you wouldn’t see widely publicised is solar panels beginto lose efficiency from the moment they are installed.
Meanwhile, new, more efficient panels are being developed. Even if the loss of efficiency is minuscule, at an average 0.5 percent, that figure is off the top of a typical efficiency rate of less than 30 percent (light-to-electricity conversion), so when offered a higher efficiency installation, many residential solar owners would consider it. The authors of the article, dubbed The Dark Side of Solar Power, point to the continuous improvements in solar panel technology as a reason for shorter actual lives for residential panels. They note that thanks to these improvements, both in cost and efficiency, consumers are a lot less likely to wait for their panels to turn 30 before they replace them. As a result, these early replacements could lead to 50 times more solar panel waste than IRENA had forecast.
It’s worth noting that IRENA’s forecast for the 78-million-ton opportunity from solar panel waste was made in 2016. A lot of things have changed over the past five years, including the rate of growth in solar panel installations. Unfortunately, what hasn’t changed a lot is the economics of recycling solar panels.
Grist reported recently that, according to researchers and recycling industry insiders, the cost of recycling a solar panel varies between $12 and $25. Meanwhile, the income from recovering certain elements from it comes in at about $3. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, recycling a solar panel costs between $20 and $30, while sending it to a landfill costs $1-2. And while the EU has put in place recycling mandates, the U.S. has no such mandates on a national level.
This massive difference in the cost of recycling versus the cost of dumping panels at landfills hints at an unpleasant truth that we are seeing in the EU already. There are recycling mandates there. The countries with the highest solar capacity pay the most for their electricity. This could, of course, be a coincidence, but that’s quite unlikely: recycling costs money, and somebody has to foot that bill.
It is this bill that busts the myth of the cheap solar power that can fuel the whole world because the sun is there and shines for free. This is true. But once you add the costs of recycling to the total cost of solar energy, as the Harvard Business Review authors note, the cost of solar jumps four times.
The future, in the absence of quick action, looks bleak, according to the researchers who penned the HBR article.
“If we plot future installations according to a logistic growth curve capped at 700 GW by 2050 (NREL’s estimated ceiling for the U.S. residential market) alongside the early replacement curve, we see the volume of waste surpassing that of new installations by the year 2031,” Atalay Atasu, Serasu Duran, and Luk N. Van Wassenhove wrote.
“By 2035, discarded panels would outweigh new units sold by 2.56 times. In turn, this would catapult the LCOE (levelised cost of energy, a measure of the overall cost of an energy-producing asset over its lifetime) to four times the current projection. The economics of solar so bright-seeming from the vantage point of 2021 would darken quickly as the industry sinks under the weight of its own trash.”
This sounds bad enough. It’s even worse because there are only a handful of companies in the U.S. that recycle solar panels. But there is also wind turbine blade waste that is building up, and while, unlike solar panels, it does not contain toxic materials, the sheer size of the blades makes it a significant waste problem. Wind turbine blades are not recyclable yet, and tons of them are coming to landfills over the next 20 years; more than 720,000 tons in the U.S. alone.
“Because there are so few options for recycling wind turbine blades currently, the vast majority of those that are no longer able to be used are either stored in various places or taken to landfill,” says CEO, and co-founder of CruxOCM, Vicki Knott.
“While the waste stream represents only a tiny portion of municipal solid waste, it’s clearly not an ideal scenario. As wind turbines are being replaced, there’s certainly a need for more creative recycling solutions for used blades,” Knott also said.
It all sounds like a waste nightmare scenario, and it pretty much is.
While many residential solar panels will live out their lives, many others will not. But this is only the beginning of the problem. Recycling costs must be brought down and capacity built before the current wave of utility-scale solar farm additions subsides because anything done later would be playing catch-up with little chance to win.
Slav writes for Oilprice.com
By: Irina Slav
Oriental Energy Resources Announces New Managing Director
Mustafa Indimi has been appointed the new Managing Director of Oriental Energy Resources Limited.
Mustafa takes over from Mr Ignatius Ifelayo, who served the company meritoriously for seven years.
Prior to the new appointment, Mustafa was the Executive Director (Technical) and a member of the company’s Board of Directors. He brings with him an in depth knowledge of the business and he is well positioned to drive the company forward.
A Master’s Degree Holder in Petroleum Production engineering from Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Mustafa has an impressive track record of leading teams to deliver outstanding performance and results.
On his new challenge, Mustafa commented: “It is an exceptional privilege to be appointed as Managing Director at a time that provides great opportunity to take the company to new heights. I am looking forward to working with the board, management and staff to strengthen and grow the company by building on the solid foundation to generate significant value for all stakeholders.”
“Underpinning everything is my commitment to the company’s vison to set the standards that all other E&P companies in the Nigerian oil and gas industry will be compared against.’’
MoniPulo Empowers 70 In Akwa Ibom
A total of 70 indigenes of Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, host to an indigenous oil firm, Moni Pulo Petroleum Development, have benefited from the 2021 community empowerment programme of the company.
The empowerment programme, which is in the 12th cycle, saw to the distribution of 70 motorcycles to the benefiting members of the host communities.
Speaking, the Chairman and Chief Executive of Moni Pulo, Dr. Seinye O.B. Lulu-Briggs, said the company has had a very healthy relationship with the people of Mbo LGA and has left positive footprints since 1999.
Lulu-Briggs said the company believes that provision of an economic-enabling environment, sustainable employment, secured opportunities and human capital development in Mbo LGA, remain the guiding principle for social transformation.
She emphasised that the company has a passion for transforming communities and catalyzing personal and communal growth in a sustainable manner, which is why corporate social responsibility is her cherished core corporate value.
“MPLs Corporate Focal Responsibility package is structured along four core areas: Educational Development, Skill Acquisition and Empowerment, Infrastructural Development, Sports and Social welfare.
“It is believed that capacity building will ameliorate the Niger Delta region’s economic challenges and reduce the incidences of youth restiveness. Thus, MPL takes this gesture further to empower Mbo and Effiat Community youths with high class motorcycles.
“This is the 12th cycle of our Community Empowerment Programme, and it is designed to empower 70 business Start-Ups from within Mbo Local Government Area in Akwa lbom State.”
Lulu-Briggs represented by the Head pf Administration and Community, Alabo Clifford Daerego, said MPL’s empowerment programme provides opportunites for entrepreneurs to set up and establish businesses that will help increase the employment rate in Akwa lbom State and in the country.
“A review of the social responsibility projects we have carried out in Mbo Local Government Area, reveals that our activities have aligned with the current global Sustainable Development Goals. This Community Empowerment Programme hinges on SDG Goal 8, which is to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
Despite the socio-economic challenges that we, like everyone else, have had to weather, we have continued to invest in the wellbeing of our host communities through empowerment exercises and sustainable development projects. We have done and will continue to do this because we know that ultimately our work is about people the men, women, youth and children of Mbo and Effiat.”
Also speaking, Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Power and Petroleum Development, Dr. John James Etim, who commended Moni Pulo for being a good corporate citizen, expressed delight to witnessed the empowerment programme.
Etim disclosed that upon his assumption of office, he was briefed that the company has trained many members of her host communities in several skills and also awarded university scholarships to many.
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