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Solar Panels, EV Batteries To Be Manufactured In Nigeria – Tinubu

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Poised to positioning the nation as a production hub in Africa, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has announced plans for the local manufacturing of solar panels and electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
Tinubu made the declaration during the inauguration of Nigeria’s largest Lithium Processing Plant in Lafia, Nasarawa State.
A statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, at the weekend, emphasised the significance of this development as a testament to the country’s appeal for foreign investment.
The statement said, “there are other aspects of lithium that you are exploring in the country, especially in battery production. Nigeria is a huge market for solar panels. Africa is a major consumer of solar technologies.
“I do not see why these panels and batteries cannot be produced here. The labour is cheaper. Our youths are vibrant and skilled. Our people are brilliant and adapt to new technology.
“The economy is increasingly more vibrant, and Nigeria is dependable. We have the consumption capacity and a surplus of steady-handed citizens with gifted minds and an innate drive to work and produce.
“You must not leave the community in ruins as you explore for our high-grade minerals. You must be concerned with cooperation and always care for the community.
“We are caring partners. We want your investments to succeed so that you can expand further. Whenever you call on us, we will help you. You can, in mutually-beneficial collaboration with us, dominate the solar panel market as part of a revolution in Africa and the West African sub-region”.
President Tinubu, who welcomed the inauguration of the plant and the announcement of further investment, stressed the importance of environmental stewardship, community engagement, and corporate social responsibility for the Chinese firms.
He urged them to prioritise these aspects as integral components of their operations, highlighting the potential for collaboration to promote mutual interests between China and Nigeria.
“You can always promote the interest of China and Nigeria as the best place in Africa to do business. We are preparing to produce in this country the solar technologies that the entire continent will use.
“It is a great joy to have you (the Chinese executives) in Nigeria. It is part of our campaign that Nigeria is open for business. We congratulate your courage in believing in us and the inauguration of the new factory.
“I can assure you that we will continue to give you the necessary support and encouragement. This is an opportunity for you to help tell the rest of the investment world that Nigeria is solid and open for business”, the President said.
It would be recalled that Avatar, a prominent Chinese firm, has established a lithium processing plant in Nasarawa State, capable of producing approximately 4,000 metric tonnes of lithium daily.
In addition, Canmax Technologies, another leading Chinese company renowned for its significant contribution to global battery material production, has announced plans for a new investment of $200 million to establish another lithium processing plant in the region.
Present  at the inauguration were Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State, who was accompanied by Mr. Hi Yongwei, Chairman of Avatar New Energy Materials Company Limited, and Mr. Zhenhua Pei, Chairman, Canmax Technologies.

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Oil & Energy

NNPCL Assures On OB3 Pipeline Completion

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) has said the Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben (OB3) Gas Pipeline would now be completed next quarter.
This is as the national oil company said it would continue to invest in the development of huge oil and gas infrastructure to make it easy for operators and prospective investors to carry out their business in Nigeria.
The Executive Vice President, Upstream, Oritsemeyiwa Eyesan, disclosed this at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), in Houston, Texas, United States of America.
Speaking at one of the panel sessions of a luncheon organised by the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN), with the theme: “Sustainable Energy Solutions for Africa’s Future (Nigerian Perspective)”, Eyesan stated that NNPC Ltd.’s objective was to ensure that there is a healthy balance of energy sources in the country.
She explained that though the oil and gas sector is not where it ought to be, much progress had been made between last year’s edition of the OTC in terms of opening up the sector for investments and infrastructural development.
While identifying funding as the major challenge impeding the development of the sector, Eyesan listed some of the bright spots in the industry to include the Executive Orders signed by the President to open up the sector, the imminent resolution of the assets divestment by the International Oil Companies (IOCs), and the aggressive execution of gas infrastructure projects such as the OB3 Gas Pipeline, which she said would be completed in the next quarter.

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TotalEnergies Targets 100 Startups In 2024

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As part of its support to businesses in Nigeria and Africa,  TotalEnergies Nigeria has launched the 2024 edition of its Startuppers challenge.
By this, the multinational aims at empowering 100 businesses across 32 African countries with N8 million cash prize, personalised coaching, and media representation.
The year’s edition of the challenge, launched virtually at an event attended by the Managing Director of TotalEnergies Nigeria Plc, Dr. Samba Seye, and other executives of the energy company, Last Thursday, would be used to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the multinational.
Presenting the form of this year’s competition, the General Manager, Total Country Service, TotalEnergies, Mrs Adesua Adewole, said registration for the challenge would open on May 13th and close on June 18th, 2024.
Adewole explained that 100 startups would be selected at first before 5 finalists would be selected, adding that the shortlisted businesses would pitch to a jury made of experts who would select winners across three categories.
“In December, we will have 100 businesses to celebrate in Africa. In past edition, we had  only six winners who were invited to Paris but this year, we will have 100 winners who will be going to selected location where they will be celebrated”, she said.
Adewole stated that Africa was special to TotalEnergies, hence the focus.
In her words, “Africa is special to us. When you look at Africa, our youths make up 60%.  They are the ones who will develop he continent, so we streamlined this to them to help them develop their businesses or ideas, scale up and become the business leaders of tomorrow.
“The aim of this 4th edition is to support and encourage young African entrepreneurs to innovate and bring their projects to reality in their country of application”.
Explaining further, the Country Communications Manager, TotalEnergies Nigeria, Dr Charles Ebereonwu, said “we have not attained 100 years before.
“Apart from celebrating 100 years, we have introduced new dimensions like your empowerment of women and equality. All entries will be subjected to whether they take into consideration these dimensions”.
Targeted by the challenge are startups less than three years old or pioneering a business idea with a positive impact on their communities and/or the planet.
“The aim of this 4th edition is to support and encourage young African entrepreneurs to innovate and bring their projects to reality in their country of application”, a statement from the firm said.

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TCN Targets Power Restoration To North-East, May 27

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The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has said electricity supply will be fully restored to the North-East by May 27.
TCN’s spokesperson, Ndidi Mbah, who disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen, weekend, said the commission’s contractors were working to erect four new transmission towers along the Jos-Gombe axis, to enable the restoration of power supply to States in the North-East region of the country.
Recall that TCN had on April 23, said four of its towers along the Jos–Gombe 330 kilo volt (kV) transmission line were vandalised, affecting electricity supply to Gombe, Damaturu, Maiduguri, Yola, Bauchi, and Jalingo.
“The tower collapse affected Gombe, Damaturu, Maiduguri, Yola, Bauchi and Jalingo. Immediately after the incident, however, TCN engineers worked first to redistribute available bulk supply on the Jos, Bauchi, Gombe 132kV line between Jos and Yola Discos, while work commenced immediately at reconstructing the four vandalised towers”, the commission said.
It continued that “Presently, we are rebuilding the four towers simultaneously. Progress is evident, with one tower nearing 80% completion, another at 60%, a third at 30%, and dismantling work finished on the fourth tower”.
Additionally, she said, “tower members” are being fabricated and assembled on-site to expedite work, adding that TCN is dedicated to the quick restoration of bulk power on the line route.
“Construction work on the Jos – Gombe transmission line, taking supply up to Damaturu and environs will be completed and energized by the 20th of May, 2024, while the Damaturu – Maiduguri axis will be completed on the 27th of May, 2024.
“Expectedly, bulk power transmission would be fully restored on the affected 330kV transmission line by the 27th of May. Yola and Jos DisCos would also be able to offtake and distribute optimally from TCN substations.
“For now, only 38MW is wheeled to both Jos and Yola Distribution companies, with each receiving 19MW each. Efforts to take some of the available power to Jalingo was hampered by very high voltage on the line, which could cause a system disturbance”.
According to the spokesperson, TCN is aware of the inconveniences caused by the current insufficient power supply through Yola and Jos DisCos to electricity customers in the affected states.
Mbah further said the company pledged to earnestly expedite work on the towers to guarantee that the towers are completed within the specified time frame.

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