Coal To Power By 2015, How Realistic?

One challenge that has constantly agitated the minds of experts in Nigeria is the resolution of power problems confronting the nation. Power failure has been seen as the cause of every problem from poverty to unemployment, lack of industrialisation among many others.

The promise by government to compliment hydro power using coal has given the nation hope that Nigeria through its rich coal reserves can harness and improve power generation electricity supply throughout the Nation.

As part of efforts towards achieving this, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Musa Mohammed Sada had constituted a Ministerial Committee headed by the Director General of Mining Cadastre office (MCO) Engineer Mohammed Amate to collate and evaluate reports on coal to power initiatives with a view to establishing the status of the project.

The committee was also to identify assets of Nigerian Coal Corporation other than coal that had been privatised and identify uses of Nigerian coal in addition to power generation.

The committee which submitted its report to the minister on August 6, 2013 proffered in its recommendations, privatisation of all outstanding coal blocks, resolution of all distracting issues that could hinder the transition from a public organization to a private enterprise, establishment of two coal fired power plants in the first phases to be powered by the Ogboyega, Okaba and Ezimo coals respectively as well as the resuscitation of the Oji River Coal fired plant among others.

In an exclusive interview with LEADERSHIP on Tuesday, chairman of the committee, Mr Amate assured that the ministry was working towards achieving the 30 per cent coal power generation by 2015. “We are even working towards signing a Memorandum of Understanding with a Chinese firm aside the fact that there are other interests. I think it is feasible” he says.

However Chief Executive Eta Zuma Group West Africa, Chief Innocent Eta-Zuma who also spoke with LEADERSHIP was pessimistic that government could achieve the 30 per cent power generation without keying into existing power plants.

According to him the provision of power using coal can never be an alternative to power generation, but can be used to compliment hydro and gas generated energy.

Speaking on other uses of coal aside power generation, he said “coal can be used to produce cement by burning clinker which is used for cement production, it can be used for coal briquettes which could be used to replace firewood as well as other industrial purposes.

“Coal” ,he said “can also be used as a source of heating for brick industries and also to extract chemicals like methanol and other materials also used in the steel industries”.

Reacting to the possibility of generating two coal plants by 2015, the Coal expert asserted that “It was not possible, but government can have some processes in place as a lot of planning is required to have an efficient coal mine”

“For the federal government to achieve 30 per cent coal to power by 2015, it will have to key into existing power plants, but if government insists on starting from the scratch, it is impossible to have it by 2015” he reiterates.

Meanwhile proven coal reserves in the country, according to statistics from the Ministry of Power, amount to about 639 million tons, while inferred reserves are in the region of 2.75 billion tons.

The Ministry of Power said it is targeting the generation of at least 4000 mega-watts of electricity from coal in the nearest future.

“Nigeria is blessed with abundant deposits of coal spread in 13 states of the federation. Significant commercial quantities are evident in the belt spanning Enugu, Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa and Gombe.”

source: Mobility

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One Comment

  1. That will very fine my dear.

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