The company, 60 per cent owned by Paris-based Lafarge SA, uses only 40 to 50 megawatts out of 90 mega watts generated by its local power plant, Michael Awanayah, the company’s general manager of business transformation, said yesterday at the West African Power Industry Convention in Lagos. “We are looking to be one of the first manufacturers to sell power and help reduce the power shortage,” he said.
Electricity demand is almost double the supply of about 4,000 megawatts in Africa’s most populous country, forcing manufacturers to build their own plants to meet their electricity needs. According to the Chairman of the Infrastructure Committee of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Reginald Odiah, as much as 300 megawatts of that power lies fallow.
He said Dangote Group and Cadbury Nigeria Plc are also considering selling excess power. Lafarge will be selling power to state-owned Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc, which serves as a clearing house between power producers and distributors, Awanayah said.
“We have a gap of almost 600 megawatts in generation at our company,” Moses Jebutu, the Assistant General Manager of Technical Services at the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company, said at the conference. “Manufacturers and distribution companies need to talk. We didn’t even know they had bottled power.” The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has taken on the role of mediator between the power suppliers and the industrial companies.
“We are working with manufacturers to produce a database of all those willing to add capacity to the grid,” said Abba Ibrahim, the regulator’s commissioner of government and consumer affairs.