Minister of Power, Chinedu Nebo said the Federal Government is determined to develop coal as a major source of power, noting that the quantum of coal deposit in the country is large enough to provide electricity for the next 20 to 30 years.
Receiving the Zuma Energy Group, led by its Chairman, Dr. Innocent Ezuma in Abuja on Monday, Nebo said the country also has large unproven reserves of coal.
The coal-to-power initiative when fully explored, he continued, will increase power generation capacity that would enable Nigeria overcome its persistent epileptic power supply.
According to him, the Goodluck Jonathan administration is passionate about the coal-to-power project, which would ensure that the country is not solely depend on the thermal and hydro sources of power.
Expressing disappointment and frustration over persistent activities of vandals, who constantly vandalize the nation’s oil and gas pipelines, the minister said, now than ever before, “government is committed to ensuring alternative source of fuel on sustainable level is provided to fire the power plants”.
Nebo commended Zuma Energy’s consistency in the pursuance of the coal project, assuring that government on its part would put in place a suitable framework for the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) as well as a Partial Risk Guarantee (PRG) to ensure that, off-takers buy all the power generated from the company’s plant.
The minister, who expressed optimism that the coal-power project would be a success, also disclosed that the African Development Bank (AfBD) had already indicated interest with regard to the provision of Partial Risk Guarantee (PRG) for coal to power project in the country.
Earlier, Ezuma said the company looked forward to a joint collaboration with the government for coal-power development with the hope of ensuring energy security for the country.
Information from Daily Independent was used in this report.