The power sector in the country has been described as a very large and viable environment for investment.
The Honorable Minister of Power Chinedu Nebo said this at an event organized by the West African Power Industry Convention (WAPIC) at Eko Hotel, yesterday in Lagos,.
According to him “The environment for investors in the Power Sector is very welcoming and very attractive, that is why so many companies have come to invest”.
He further stated that the sector needed the right amount of capital, and well planned strategic distribution and transaction networks to make sure that all the independent power plants (IPPs) that are coming on board have conducive avenues for operations.
The Minister said that the issue with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) would soon be resolved in that the Ministry “is trying to formulate a framework for privatization, it might go in a form of concessioning or outright privatization but we need to strategize in other to do that.”
The Minister also emphasized the vast economic potentials on renewable energy especially solar in the country and posited that the Federal Government was supporting all effort to create the awareness of this form of energy and were out to connect the rural communities who were not connected to the national grid with the form of energy.
He said that “within the next 12 to 24 months there is going to be a revolution with regards to application and deployment of renewable energy and it is going to be mostly solar because virtually all parts of Nigeria is amenable to solar energy”.
Speaking also at the event is Tony Elumelu the chairman of Heirs Holding Nigeria, who spoke on the theme: Unlocking investment growth in the West African Power Sector said that the power industry is a catalytic sector and plays very integral part in the growth of the economy of the country and the West African region.
Mr Elumelu used the occasion to reveal the milestone Heirs Holdings have achieved especially when it took over the running of Ughelli Power Plant in November 2013.
“Our experience so far at Ughelli power plant is testimony to the size of the opportunity; our amazing team has taken that plant from 150MW capacity when we took over in November 2013, to 450MW; today, we expect it to increase to 700Mw before the year runs out and 1000MW by the second quarter of 2015”.
And to push the possibilities further he said, “we are working on a Greenfield project that will expand the capacity of Ughelli power plant by an additional 1000MW in the next 3-5 years and we have signed MoU with GE and Symbian Power to facilitate this and that is more than 20 percent of Nigeria’s total power generation”.
He however said that unreliable transmission infrastructure, access to uninterrupted gas supply and timely settlement of invoiced payments are the factors militating against full generation and distribution of power in the country.