Power supply to improve as NNPC completes repairs of gas pipeline
Respite may come the way of Nigerians who have been groaning in darkness for the past few weeks as the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has completed repair of the Escravos-Lagos gas pipeline, ending almost 7 months of gas supply outage caused by vandalization of the pipeline in Delta State.
A reliable source at NNPC told THE CITIZEN that almost 200mmcf/d of gas is now being re-instated into the grid.
“This will improve power availability in the country, after the prolonged period of outages. An additional 60mmcf/d is expected within 3 weeks when ongoing repair works at the Utorogu gas plant is also completed. Nigerians should expect continuous steady improvement in power availability through the course of the year,” he said.
He assured that despite the short term challenges being experienced, it is essential to state that the gas sector reform is ongoing and on course.
“The Minister for Petroleum, Alison-Madueke directed an accelerated implementation of the Nigerian Gas master-plan. This resulted in an aggressive infrastructure drive and major reforms of the commercial framework for gas in Nigeria. In the last 3 years alone, over 400km of new gas pipelines have been completed, expanding pipeline capacity and enhancing connectivity between various gas supply sources. Today, all PHCN and NIPP power plants are connected to gas pipeline infrastructure. An additional 450km are under construction currently, of which 340km is due to conclude by end 2014 and the balance by 2016,” he said.
The source said that the ongoing gas infrastructure work is the most extensive the nation has ever seen, with many new km of pipeline being added every day. Gas production and supply has also grown to an all time high of 1500mmcf/d from less than 500mmcf/d 4 years ago.
“A major part of this new supply is being directed to the power sector, whilst the non-power sector such as cement, manufacturing etc. have seen a doubling in supply to them within the same period. Unfortunately, challenges of pipeline attack continue to undermine the impact of these efforts.
“Supply growth remains the priority of the Ministry of Petroleum and NNPC. Many projects are being progressed to assure realization of this objective. Before the end of the year, about 200mmcf/d new gas will be added to the grid as some projects are completed in June and September. The trend is expected to continue through 2015 when many more projects are completed. Nigerians should be assured that all efforts are being put in place to ensure sustainable growth in gas supply, with particular focus to the Power sector,” he said.