- Partners Invest N2bn in Power Project for Oil Communities
Green Energy International ltd (GEIL) and its partner, Lekoil, who are operators of the Otakikpo marginal field in Oil Mining Lease (OML 11) in Andoni Local Government of Rivers State, have disclosed a plan to invest about N2 billion in the generation of electricity for host communities of the oil field.
The communities – Ikuru town, Ayama Ekede, Ugama Ekede, Asuk Ama and Asuk Oyet are expected to benefit from the planned 6 megawatts (MW) electricity project which the firms said would provide uninterrupted electricity to them.
According to the Director of Sustainable Development of GEIL, Mr Ayo Olojede, in Abuja, the electricity project would also boost the economic life of the fishing communities.
Olojede said the power plant would utilise the gas produced from the marginal field to generate its electricity.
“Part of the package to transform the area economically is the plan to encourage the communities to establish an industrial park where companies can leverage on the uninterrupted electricity for industrial use and small scale industries. The total initial cost of the electricity project is in excess of N2 billion,” said Olojede.
He said the partners are currently processing application with the relevant regulators for the installation of a gas processing facility to extract liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and condensate from the wet associated gas from the Otakikpo wells.
According to him, under its corporate social responsibility(CSR), GEIL and its partner has designed a scheme with the communities that would involve local entrepreneurs to distribute the LPGs within and outside communities.
He stated that the company has also introduced a unique community engagement strategy to embark on community development projects under a trust fund which over N1 billion would be put into in all the communities.
Olojede explained that the Otakikpo marginal field was designed as a pilot scheme to demonstrate the applicability of the Small Scale Gas Utilisation Program (SSGUP) concept of the federal government to eliminate gas flaring and promote utilisation of gas derived from the field to energise the economic potentials of the oil producing communities.
He said it was hoped that the successful pilot will lead to more marginal fields embracing the concept, adding that this will decrease gas flaring for small and medium exploration and production companies in alignment with the government’s zero gas flaring policy.
Similarly, the Technical Director of GEIL, Dr. Bunu Alibe stated that the company has commenced a production test which he noted was a critical milestone for the company and its technical partner, Lekoil towards meeting its objective of producing the field.
NIPC Remits N5.4B in 5 Years
The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission says it has remitted a total of N5.36 billion into the consolidated revenue fund from 2016 to the first quarter of 2021.
This represents 46 percent of its total revenue for the period.
Asides from monitoring all investment promotion activities in the country, the commission also assists incoming and existing investors by providing support services.
Part of these services is the pioneer incentive status which was aimed at encouraging investors.
According to the commission’s financial summary, it spent N6.16 billion and reserved N1.09 billion.
The law allows the NIPC to apply fees charged for services rendered by it towards the discharge of its functions.
In the past five years, the commission has generated more in 2018 (N5.6 billion) and in 2020 (N3 billion).
In 2019, it generated N1.6 billion; 2016, N425 million; and 2017, N409 million.
In a previous interview, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Yewande Sadiku, said the investment inflow to Nigeria has been under pressure for a few years, even prior to COVID-19.
“Looking at FDI flows to Nigeria in the last 20 years, we had a peak around 2011-2012 when the country recorded FDI of about $8.9billion. That was about the time the government sold oil assets to indigenous companies,” she said.
“Since then, FDI has been under serious pressure. There might have been a spike in one of the years. But, the trend has been downwards since then.
“When FDI in Nigeria was high, what we see is because the government policies or economic reforms stimulated the flow of the FDIs. So, when banking reforms, which required higher capital raising, led to consolidation, and when the reforms of the telecoms industry were done, and GSM licenses were issued, not only did the government sell licenses to make some money, those who bought those licenses created a completely new investment ecosystem, with a ripple effect in many sectors of the economy.”
The Time is Now for Global ESG Regulation: deVere CEO
A global regulatory framework for environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing is now urgently required, affirms the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organisations.
The ‘call to action’ from Nigel Green, the chief executive and founder of deVere Group, comes as major financial institutions are handling a massive uptick of inflows into the sector but at the same time facing accusations of inconsistency in their approach to sustainable impactful investments.
Mr Green says: “Environmental, social and governance investing is this decade’s ultimate investment megatrend – and it has been accelerated since the pandemic began.
“There’s been a dramatic increase of inflows into the sector from both retail and institutional investors as it has become clearer than ever that human health is reliant upon healthy ecosystems; that we need to ensure the sustainability of supply chains; and that those companies with robust corporate governance and good business practice fare better in difficult times and are ultimately best-positioned for the future.”
He continues: “The trend is unlikely to slow down in a post-pandemic world. Millennials, who are statistically more likely to seek responsible investment options, are set to become the major beneficiaries of the largest inter-generational transfer of wealth – an estimated $30trillion over the next few years.
“In addition, recent research reveals that the majority of environmental, social and governance investments have outperformed their non-sustainable counterparts over the last year and have had lower volatility.
“This will only serve to attract more investors.”
Given the continuing and increasing demand, Mr Green says that the regulatory landscape must reflect the situation.
“Regulators need to catch-up. Initiatives that began in the EU are now spreading worldwide, but much more needs to be done, at a faster pace and with a joined-up approach. There remains a startling lack of consistency in definitions and data.
“Considering the momentum of the sector, the time is now for the establishment of a global regulatory framework for ESG investing.”
This, he says, will provide greater protections for those investors who are looking for profits with purpose. It will also help to reduce ‘greenwashing’, which is where an investment or company gives an inaccurate impression over its green, socially responsible or corporate credentials.
The deVere CEO concludes: “A robust standardised regulatory framework would make the sector even more attractive, which will then help investors reach their financial goals whilst proactively protecting people and the planet.”
BMW and Ford Invest in Solid Power to Secure All Solid-State Batteries for Future Electric Vehicles
Solid Power, an industry-leading producer of all solid-state batteries for electric vehicles, yesterday announced a $130 million Series B investment round led by the BMW Group, Ford Motor Company and Volta Energy Technologies.
Ford and the BMW Group have also expanded existing joint development agreements with Solid Power to secure all solid-state batteries for future electric vehicles.
The investment positions Solid Power to produce full-scale automotive batteries, increase associated material output and expand in-house production capabilities for future vehicle integration. The BMW Group and Ford aim to utilize Solid Power’s low-cost, high-energy all solid-state battery technology in forthcoming electric vehicles.
“BMW and Ford now share leading positions in the race for all solid-state battery-powered electric vehicles,” said Doug Campbell, CEO and co-founder of Solid Power. “Solid Power now plans to begin producing automotive-scale batteries on the company’s pilot production line in early 2022 as a result of our partners’ continued commitment to Solid Power’s commercialization efforts.”
Solid Power has demonstrated its ability to produce and scale next-generation all solid-state batteries that are designed to power longer range, lower cost and safer electric vehicles using existing lithium-ion battery manufacturing infrastructure.
Solid Power’s leadership in all solid-state battery development and manufacturing has been confirmed with the delivery of hundreds of production line-produced battery cells that were validated by Ford and the BMW Group late last year, formalizing Solid Power’s commercialization plans with its two long-standing automotive partners.
“Solid-state battery technology is important to the future of electric vehicles, and that’s why we’re investing directly,” said Ted Miller, Ford’s manager of Electrification Subsystems and Power Supply Research. “By simplifying the design of solid-state versus lithium-ion batteries, we’ll be able to increase vehicle range, improve interior space and cargo volume, deliver lower costs and better value for customers and more efficiently integrate this kind of solid-state battery cell technology into existing lithium-ion cell production processes.”
“Being a leader in advanced battery technology is of the utmost importance for BMW. The development of all solid-state batteries is one of the most promising and important steps towards more efficient, sustainable, and safer electric vehicles. We now have taken our next step on this path with Solid Power,” said Frank Weber, Member of the Board of Management BMW AG, Development. “Together we have developed a 20 Ah all solid-state cell that is absolutely outstanding in this field. Over the past 10 years, BMW has continuously increased the battery cell competence– important partners like Solid Power share our vision of zero-emission mobility.”
Solid Power is currently producing 20-ampere hour (Ah) multi-layer all solid-state batteries on the company’s continuous roll-to-roll production line, which exclusively utilizes industry standard lithium-ion production processes and equipment.
Both Ford and the BMW Group will receive full-scale 100 Ah cells for automotive qualification testing and vehicle integration beginning in 2022. Solid Power’s all solid-state platform technology allows for the production of unique cell designs expected to meet performance requirements for each automotive partner. Solid Power’s truly all-solid cell designs achieve higher energy densities, are safer and are expected to cost less than today’s best-performing lithium-ion battery cells.
“Volta invested early in Solid Power when our team of energy and commercialization experts found they had not only promising technology, but also a fundamental focus on manufacturability. After all, a breakthrough battery will not find a place in the market if it can’t be produced at scale with acceptable costs,” said Dr. Jeff Chamberlain, CEO of Volta Energy Technologies, a venture capital firm spun out of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory focused on investing in breakthrough energy storage and battery innovations.
“The fact that Solid Power is already producing multi-layer all solid-state batteries using industry-standard automated commercial manufacturing equipment is why Volta is excited to ramp up its earlier investment. The company’s partnership with BMW and Ford will further accelerate the full commercialization of Solid Power’s batteries and position both car companies to be among the first to have EVs on the road powered by safer, affordable, high-energy solid-state batteries.” He added.
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