Total has announced plans to construct solar power plants in Nigeria as part of its efforts to deliver affordable and clean energy to Nigerians.
This is even as its Nigerian arm, Total E&P Nigeria Ltd (TEPNG), announced that it has started delivering gas to the Alaoji power plant located near Aba, Abia state through its Northern Option Pipeline (NOPL) since October 18.
Mr. Nicolaz Terraz, Managing Director of the company, disclosed this in a paper he presented during a gas producers forum at the ongoing Nigerian Gas Association (NGA) 10th international conference and exhibition in Abuja.
Terraz’s presentation was read by Patrick Olinma the company’s Executive Director (Gas), was titled: “Harnessing Natural Gas: New Opportunities for Nigeria.”
Total recently made significant diversification of its renewable energy portfolio after acquiring majority shares (60%) of US-based SunPower, one of the world’s largest solar panel makers.
According to him, the acquisition has made Total very active in solar power even though there’s imminent competition in Nigeria with the recent signing of 14 power agreements by solar plant developers with the federal government to generate 1,125 megawatts (MW) of power to the national grid.
However, he maintained that the bulk of electricity in Nigeria will still come from gas-fired power plants in the foreseeable future even if all of these solar plants materialise.
There had been reports about the disagreement between Total and a consortium of indigenous firms, Frontier energy/ Seven energy over gas supply contracts to the Alaoji power plant but Terraz announced on Tuesday, that “gas supply to Alaoji plant through NOPL started on 18th October 2016.”
Total, which has a domestic supply obligation to the Alaoji plant with its Joint Venture partner NNPC, built the 50 km NOPL gas pipeline to supply gas to the plant and other gas-based industries in the Eastern Domestic Market.
Terraz further said that as a shareholder in the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) company, Total fully supports the construction of Train 7.
Train 7 which will significantly boost Nigeria’s export of liquefied natural gas has to be in the works for several years.
He expressed confidence in Nigeria’s future, assuring that Total will continue to invest in the country despite the challenges that continue to hinder the growth of the industry.