As part of efforts to diversify the nation’s energy mix and ensure improved power supply, the federal government has begun feasibility studies of eight coal blocks, Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, has said.
The minister stated this while presenting his scorecard as part of the mid-term achievement of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration in Abuja yesterday.
Nebo, who assured that the economy would soon witness a power sector revolution that would be more massive than the revolution brought about by the telecommunication sector, said progress of work on the study was at 25 per cent.
He disclosed that the study was on five coal blocks in Enugu axis and three coal block in Benue, Kogi and Gombe axis, adding that the study was expected to focus on clean coal technology with an expected addition of 3,000MW to 4000MW.
He maintained that his ministry would consolidate the gains in the previous year’s performance in the sector and improve the availability of power supply to between 16 and 24 hours per day.
This he said, would be achieved through the diversification of the energy mix to include hydro, coal, wind and solar. He listed hydro power development to include the 700MW Zungeru dam, 3,050MW Mambilla dam, 360MW Gurara 11 dam, 30MW Gurara 1, as well as the 40MW Itisi and 40MW Kashimbilla dam projects.
“The ministry will leverage on the abundant renewable energy sources in the country which are environmentally friendly to increase power generation and guarantee security of supply. Feasibility studies on 10 dams with small hydropower potentials which commenced in 2011, have been completed and ready for concession,” he said.
He stated that a draft rural electrification strategy and implementation plan was being finalised, noting that moving forward, the hitherto moribund Rural Electrification Agency (REA) would focus on increased exploitation of renewables and the facilitation of rural electrification projects.
He added that the ministry would vigorously pursue private investment – including Foreign Direct Investments in the IPPs, distribution, renewable energy, capacity building and transmission grid expansion.
He further listed the conclusion of labour-related issues, development of local content framework in the power sector and promoting energy efficiency and conservation as well as collaboration with other agencies to check vandalisation of power infrastructure as priorities.
Information from Leadership was used in this report.