On Friday, cement manufacturing company Lafarge Africa announced that they have submitted a proposal to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) for a license to generate 260MW of power to feed back into the country’s electricity grid.
According to Reuters, NERC is licensing embedded power companies in attempts to reduce the country’s frequent power outages which are hindering the growth and development of Africa’s largest economy.
An unnamed source at NERC told Reuters that West Africa’s largest manufacturing conglomerate Dangote, has also approached NERC to supply the grid with excess generated power from its cement plant.
Feeding back into electricity grid
Last year, Lafarge Africa partnered with Finnish power plant supplier Wartsila to build a 220MW gas-fired power station in Nigeria.
The plan is for Lafarge Africa to add the 220MW power plant to its existing 90MW plant, which is used mainly for its cement operations in Nigeria.
The plant currently supplies about 40MW of excess power to the electricity grid, so once the new plant is built it was said that about 260MW will go to the national grid under a power purchase agreement.
Nigerian power sector
Two years ago the Nigerian government unbundled the electricity sector, privatising the generation, transmission and distribution sectors.
The decision to unbundle the sector was a move to attract foreign direct investment into the country to help curb the frequent power outages and insufficient power supply to the electricity grid.
In June, Russia’s state-owned Rosatom, which has been in talks with the Nigerian government over the country’s new nuclear power build, confirmed that two sites had been selected for the planned construction that will have a total of four reactors.
Nigeria has no experience in developing and operating nuclear plants but has small research reactors producing around 30KW.
According to the Nigerian Ministry of Power and the NAEC, the first Nigerian nuclear plant is to be constructed and to start operating by the year 2026.