FG, American firm sign pact on coal to power development
The Federal Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Millhouse Engineering and Construction of Chicago, U.S.A for the development, exploration and mining of the Enugu coal reserve and utilization for power generation in the country.
Minister of Power, Chinedu Nebo who signed on behalf of government stated that plans are in top gear to actualize coal-power, in view of the abundance of high grade coal deposits in Nigeria.
Nebo noted that in spite of the fact that at least seven states are known to have coal reserves, currently coal is yet to be achieved as a routine source of energy.
He therefore promised to do more in reversing this trend.
The Minister stated that if properly harnessed, coal alone could generate about 5,000MW of power for the country.
According to him, “coal-power has always been at the centre of the present administration’s agenda.”
He expressed the Federal Government’s commitment to partnering with interested would-be investors in the realization of this goal.
“Coal”, the Minister said, “is about the biggest energy source for developed countries like United States, South Africa, China and Australia, but in spite of the call for renewables, clean coal technology would enable us extract power from abundant coal resources”.
He therefore called for more investments in coal energy.
He urged the company to start with embedded power of about 4MW upwards, as it will enable it hit the market early.
He pointed out that the smaller the generation, the easier the issue of financing, and other requirements are tackled, adding that with time, its generation ability will gradually increase to higher quantity of megawatts with a wider coverage area.
Earlier, the Chairman of the company, Wilbur Millhouse, expressed the firms commitment to the agreement, adding that apart from providing the technical, financial and operational resources needed for the implementation of the project; it would also provide adequate training for the Nigerian workforce as well as support the local content policy of the Federal Government from beginning to the end of the project.