Nigeria is set to work closely with the World Bank to curb gas flare from oil fields in the Niger Delta region as part of the initiative to reduce flaring, while at the same time monetize gas resources needed for economic growth and development .
The partnership is also encouraging significant investments in gas to power initiative to further help the country realize its power sector reform process.
The bank at the said it has set aside more than $1 billion in risk financing to back the use of flared gas from oil fields across Africa to generate power.
The bank noted that about two thirds of the population do not have electricity in sub-Saharan Africa and the continent is hopeful new gas finds along the east coast can boost power projects.
Power shortages are a big impediment to economic growth, and many businesses provide their own power using costly diesel generators.
Anita George, Senior Director of energy at the bank, said about 700 billion kilowatt hours of power – equivalent to 80,000 megawatts running for the whole year – could be produced from all the gas flared routinely around the world.
Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer flares highest percentage of gas found when extracting oil on the continent. The country received its first partial risk guarantee from the bank of $145 million in 2013 to support the country’s gas-to-power industry.
Under the 10-year deal, Chevron Nigeria will supply the gas-fired Egbin plant near Lagos to generate electricity in a bid to increase supply in the populous nation where around three quarters of the country’s power comes from gas.