Coal power plant to begin operation in 2015 – Minister

By The Citizen

Nigeria's first power generating plant to be fuelled by coal will begin operation next year, the Federal Government has said.

The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, said this on Monday during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Federal Government and Atlas Petroleum Corporation in Abuja.

Atlas Petroleum, according to a statement from the Federal Ministry of Power, has shown readiness to build the country's first ever coal-fired power plant.

Nebo said Nigeria had to harness all its potential in order to build a robust energy mix, adding that this development would render ineffective any incident of vandalism in the country's electricity supply sector.

The minister promised to help fast-track other licences with various agencies, beginning with the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.

'We will also assist with the design of appropriate mining, as we must ensure everything works. The coal-fired plant should start next year.

'The coming into coal to power by Atlas Petroleum is a welcome development as history is about to be made today. While others are doing the talk, Atlas will do the action and the promoter of the firm is determined to put all the required funds for the development of this dream. Atlas will be the first to deliver more megawatts from coal,' he said.

The Minister of State for Power, Mr. Mohammad Wakil, said the event was historic as the 2.8 billion metric tonnes of coal deposits had remained untapped for years.

He called on other genuine would-be investors to key into the new focus of coal to power, stressing that such a move would complement what the government was doing.