The Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), Prof. Emenike Ejiogu, on Thursday, offered to inject 7,000 megawatts of electricity across the 774 local government areas in Nigeria through the gasification plant.
Prof. Ejiogu who doubles as the Director of the Africa Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Power and Energy Development (ACE-SPED), maintained that the conventional national grid has proven to be insufficient in providing the nation's needed energy, suggesting the adoption of an energy mix to address the power problems affecting the country.
Speaking at the 190th Inaugural Lecture of the University of Nigeria at the Princess Alexandra Auditorium in the university, Ejiogu stated that through through gasification plant, 10,000 megawatts of electricity can be injected into all the 774 local government areas in Nigeria.
Explaining the gasification plant while presenting the lecture titled, ‘My Engineering Odyssey: Energy Security, Energy Sustainability and Bringing Power to the People,’ he said it is an engineering system manufactured locally with 100% local content and converts organic solid materials into artificial gas to generate electric power among other uses.
“The conventional power industries in Nigeria with huge generating plants, produce a huge amount of power and transmit it at a long distance. The disadvantage of this is that you have to cover the entire country with transmission lines which would result in huge financial losses.
"The technical manpower is not equally there to maintain this power arrangement because most of the materials are imported.
“In this situation, the best thing to think of is distributed generation of energy. This can be done by creating micro and mini-grids across locations in Nigeria so that we can generate power and distribute it locally.
A gasification plant is one of the enabling technologies that can help you achieve this. The advantage of distributed generation is that you can generate your power locally and manage it locally.
“When you have a lot of these micro and mini-grids, you can begin to tie them together so that in the end, you will have a network. With this arrangement, you can infuse a huge amount of energy into our power sector without a huge investment in transmission lines and other materials.
"This is an enabling technology because you can easily go into the 774 local government areas across the country and give each of them 10 megawatts of power which would result in 7,740 megawatts of power.
"This is already more than what our national grid is generating and transmitting. If the political will is there, you can infuse a huge amount of energy into our sector within a period of two to three years.
"It is only the gasification technology that can give you that flexibility because we would be producing fuel from waste materials and coal which are in abundance in this country,” Ejiogu explained.
The UNN Don added, With the current epileptic power supply in the country occasioned by the frequent collapse of the national grid, this is time to give proper attention to alternative power sources.
“Our designed gasification plant converts solid wastes into gas, just like the refineries which turn crude oil into petrol and other products. What we need is the fund to mass produce it.
“Organizations can comfortably depend and run on it, what is required is to change the already existing diesel generators and modify them to run on gas and it will serve as mini-grid.
“Depending on public power supply alone has negatively impacted on production outputs and services of organisations in Nigeria, which as well have affected the national economy because some organisation can no longer operate under the epileptic power supply with the e of diesel always on a high side,” he said.