THE Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), may have abandoned its Independent Power Project (IPP) initiated to address the lingering power supply crisis assailing its members.
Hints from MAN’s headquarters in Lagos indicated that the 625 megawatts (mw) project was a victim of gas supply guarantee crisis rocking power stations and the stringent conditions attached to establishing IPPs in the country.
The Director-General of the association, Jide Mike told The Guardian that the project could not be insulated from the twin crises of gas supply guarantee and the assessed unfavourable conditionalities for setting up IPPs.
Consequently, the focus of the association would now be on industrial clusters being planned by the Federal Government.
Speaking also on the project, former president of the association, Bashir Borodo stated: “MAN IPP started as a very ambitious project designed to produce 625mw. Land was identified and local/foreign financiers were willing to fund and or guarantee the project. It was very clear to us that MAN IPP project will relieve manufacturers from the mindset of lamentation to one of creating solution to our problems. To our shock and grief, we discovered late in the day that gas to power the turbines is not available. Because of this, we have to go back to the drawing board and start all over again”.
Borodo said that the association was considering pilot projects in industrial clusters with 10 to 20mw each with co-generation based on gas/black oil.
Speaking at the initial stage of the proposed power project, Chairman Infrastructure Committee, MAN, Reginald Odiah, an engineer, had said the association planned to generate between 120 and 150 megawatt of electricity.
He said: “We realised that most of the industries are situated in Ikeja and its environs, so this is the reason why we are targeting that area for now. One thing we most learn is that it is not cheap, it is capital intensive, so we need to do it bit by bit.
“Manufacturers have been at the receiving end, on the lack of infrastructure. 40 to 60 per cent of our industries have closed down and this is due to poor infrastructure. We have the plan of generating about 2000 megawatt, but we’ll be doing it bit by bit.
To bring a lasting solution to the issue of power, Mike called for complete liberalisation of the power sector and allowing the private sector and states to participate in generation, transmission and distribution of what they produce.
He said that the utilisation of renewable energy resources such as solar, wind, hydro and biogas should be explored and exploited for power generation.
He added: “The on-going power reform should be accelerated and more investment on IPPs should be encouraged”.
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