‘Flared gas can generate 40% of electricity needs’
The volume of gas flared in Nigeria can provide 40 per cent of the country’s total electricity requirement based on the current needs assessment, the Minister of Environment, Mrs. Laurentia Mallam, has said.
She specifically stated that the flared gas to power potential was estimated at 27,612 gigawatts hour, describing it as “enormous.”
Nigeria currently generates less than 4,000 megawatts of power for its population of over 160 million people. Inadequate supply of gas, on many occasions, has been described as the major factor inhibiting efficient power supply across the country.
Mallam stated that the opportunity cost of gas flaring was the amount of power that could have been generated had the gas been channelled to the power sector.
Mallam, in a presentation made available to our correspondent on Sunday, disclosed that the volume of gas lost as a result of gas flaring was worrisome and stressed that if properly managed “this could effectively double Nigeria’s current electricity targets for 2014 and could provide 40 per cent of Nigeria’s total electricity requirements based on the current needs assessment.”
This, according to her, prompted the introduction of the gas flare tracker which was officially deployed last week in Abuja.
She said, “Following the success of the oil spill map and our ongoing work with communities and stakeholders in the Delta region, we decided to seek further assistance from the Department of International Development to build an online tracker that could capture the number of gas flares across the Delta region.
“The goal has been to enable us to better understand the size of the problem and to provide freely available information to the government, industry, civil society organisations and local communities to inform and guide policy and seek lasting solutions for the benefit of all Nigerians.”
The Director-General/Chief Executive, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, Mr. Peter Idabor, said Nigeria flared approximately 50 per cent of its natural gas, adding that it was estimated that 30 billion standard cubic feet of gas was flared in January 2011.
He noted that the gas flare tracker would help the government to calculate the amount of unpaid fines by facility owners, estimated at $1.1bn per annum.