The Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo, has said that Nigeria must pursue its energy mix strategy now to guarantee its power sector reform as it stands as at least 30 per cent of its requirement should be provided by coal, while also using the opportunity to call on investors to catch in, to take advantage of this gap.
The minister stated this on Thursday, in Abuja, when he received the ETA Zuma Group
Professor Nebo assured Nigerians and would-be investors in the power sector of its commitment to the coal to power initiative, aimed at utilising the abundant coal reserves that spread across nine states in Nigeria.
Professor Nebo said there was seeming confusion over the quantum of coal and gas resources available in Nigeria, as people sometimes argue as to which of these resources Nigeria is most endowed with.
He expressed satisfaction with the giant strides recorded by the indigenous company, ETA Zuma Energy Group, just as he said he was happy about the quality of exploration data provided by the company, a pointer to the company’s seriousness.
The minister further said that the 380 million tonnes of high grade coal available for exploration have shown that Zuma had enough proven reserves to service power plants for a minimum of 30 years, also informing the company of a ready market for all the coal that could be mined as coal can equally be used for domestic purposes.
Nebo advised that the security of a nation’s energy mix is important, that was why Nigerian government will leave no stone unturned to fully utilise its coal-to- power potentials.
He used the occasion to call on other investors desirous of investing in coal-to-power not to hesitate as this is the time to invest for bumper harvest tomorrow.
Earlier in his presentation, Chairman of the group, Dr Innocent Ezuma, assured Nigerians that the first phase of the project will attract investment of 3 billion dollars.
He said that his plant will use clean coal technology known as Circulating Fludiced Bed Technology (CFB), which meets World Bank requirement, as it has permissible emission level.
Dr. Ezuma said financing his project has reached advanced stage, just as he said construction will last 3 – 4 years when it kicks off in the 4 th quarter of 2014.