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GE, SEPLAT, OANDO And ACCUGAS Profer Solution For Gas To Power Challenge

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General Electric, along with some Nigerian companies in the power and gas sector, is devising a solution that could improve power supply by stepping up gas deliveries to generating plants in the country.

Explaining the process, Lazarus Angbazo, president and chief executive officer of General Electric in Nigeria, said it entailed the collection of gas from source, followed by the compression or liquefication of the product, and then delivery to the power plants where it would be regasified for the purpose of generating power.

Angbazo further said,'GE is coming with a solution called Virtual Pipeline. This virtual pipeline works in three ways. First is at the point of source for the gas. We are going to collect the gas, clean it, compress it or liquefy it and then transport to point of use and of course provide the generating equipment that would convert that gas to power, fertilizer and some other industrial use and methanol production'.

He added that the solution was about collection and processing, the logistics involved in transportation, and the gas usage for various purposes.

Across the value chain of virtual pipeline, he said, General Electric (GE) can support in the collection and processing, condensation and compression, but would not be involved in its logistics because it is not a transportation company.

He however stated that the company could provide support at the tail end of the value chain, through provision of power generating equipment and any of the equipment used in a typical petro-chemical plant.

The GE boss who described the solution as a private sector initiative driven by companies like Seplat Oando and Accugas, observed the solution would compliment the conventional pipeline.

He said it was only meant to service industrial and captive power generators, because to do it at the scale of power for the grid would require huge capital investment.

'It is more for the small projects, so the key is getting access to the stranded gas onshore and off shore, collection and processing, and then using tubular trailers or some specialised tankers to physically transport it to site.

'In the case of LNG, you regasify it at the point of use and in case of compressed natural gas (CNG) it is fed straight to the gas turbine, so we are talking about projects not bigger than 50 megawatts.

'But for anything over a 100 megawatts, you still face the same problems as that of power grid'.

Lazarus who described the innovation in that technology as exciting and new, said it would help to leapfrog and complement the existing system.

He stated that even when the country has the available gas for power, gas delivery infrastructure are grossly inadequate.

'We only have about a 1,000 kilometer pipeline that is meant to deliver gas. Today Nigeria needs about 10 ,000 kilometres of gas pipelines to meet it power needs. On top of this is the pipeline security and vandalism which affects the country today.