- Century Power Targets Additional 495MW by 2020
Century Power, a subsidiary of the Obijackson Group, has said the first phase of its proposed 1,500 megawatts power plant is expected to be completed in 2020, with the capacity to generate 495MW of electricity.
It said on Thursday that the Century Power Generation Plant would be built in three phases in Okija, Anambra State.
According to a statement, the company’s Managing Director, Dr. Chukwueloka Umeh, in a panel discussion at the MIT Energy Conference in the United States last week, stated that the challenges facing the power sector in Nigeria were surmountable and were being addressed by private sector initiatives.
He said, “There are challenges facing each facet of the power value chain in the country, starting from gas supply all the way to electricity distribution. In order to fix these, significant investment is needed.
“A large part of this investment will come from local and foreign investors, but the government must create favourable conditions in all these sub-sectors to ensure the influx of these desperately needed investments. It cannot be business as usual.”
Describing Nigerians as entrepreneurial, Umeh said, “We must have the right infrastructure to unlock the potential that we have been speaking about for decades. It is easy to see that we export timber, but import toothpicks simply because we do not have a steady and reliable supply of electricity to allow small and medium enterprises manufacture goods locally at competitive prices, thereby creating jobs for the growing unemployed population.
“The people worry about tariff increases, but do not realise that they actually pay much higher tariffs by generating their own power with petrol or diesel-powered generators.”
On renewable energy, he stressed the need for large baseload plants, with the capacity to generate from 100MW and above.
“Renewables are essential to help preserve the environment, and sources such as hydro are definitely good to have in the power mix. However, currently available gas turbine technologies come with higher efficiencies, which make them a sustainable source of power without negatively impacting the environment,” Umeh said.
According to him, gas-fired plants operating in open cycle or combined cycle mode are currently the best option for Nigeria to quickly boost its baseload power output to a reasonable number because they can be developed, built and inaugurated in three to six years.
He said, “Century Power Limited, like the other organisations in the Obijackson Group, is keen on contributing to the development of Nigeria. The country needs all the power it can get to pull it out of the doldrums of suppressed organic economic development.
“Much work needs to be done and can only be achieved if the government sees private sector investors as the true catalysts for economic development that they are, and create appropriate policies to aid sectoral development, as well as provide a favourable climate for such investments.”