Nigerian govt. moves to realise 6,000 MW electricity supply target

To give stakeholders confidence to supply gas to the power generation firms, the Minister said the CBN would help clear outstanding gas-related debts in the power sector

The Federal Government on Saturday moved to tackle address all impediments to its effort at realising set 6,000 megawatts of electricity supply in the country by December 2014.

Key government agencies involved in the power supply effort said the constraints, chief among them inadequate gas supply, were limiting power generation capacity by the end of the year to only about 5,000 MW.

Consequently, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC; the Ministries of Power and Petroleum Resources; the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission. NERC, got together to resolve the issues involved.

The minister said the agencies were making a collective effort to resolve all outstanding issues, particularly those bordering on gas pricing and supply in the short term.

The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, said at a joint briefing by the five agencies in Abuja that the NNPC and the Petroleum ministry were committed to the effort to supply the required gas to the power plants.

According to Mrs. Alison-Madueke, about 750million cubic feet per day of gas currently being supplied to the power sector has only resulted in an aggregate electricity generation capacity of about 4,000MW.

“The expectation is that barring unforseen developments, our interventions will add at least 370mmcf per day of gas and assure a generation capacity of at least 5,000 MW within four to five months,” the Minister said.

To give the various stakeholders confidence to supply gas to the power generation firms, the Minister said the CBN would help clear outstanding gas related debts in the power sector.

“Specifically, the CBN is looking at banking sector-led measures to pay off N25billion of debts owed to gas suppliers,” she said.

The settlement of the debt, the Minister said, would be subject to reconciliation and adequate provision in a revised Multi-Year Tariff Order, MYTO that ensures repayment within five years.

“The CBN will also play a key role in financial arrangements that will guarantee payments for gas supply by the power sector.” Mrs, Alison-Madueke said.

For NERC, she said it would require firm commitments from gas suppliers that they would supply the agreed quantities of gas to electricity generation companies in the country.

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