Total to kick-start investment in solar plants in Nigeria

Oil major, Total has said it is looking at possible opportunities to invest in solar power generation in Nigeria.

Its Nigerian subsidiary, Total E&P Nigeria Ltd (TEPNG) disclosed this plans recently in Abuja, saying it is part of its efforts to deliver affordable and clean energy solutions to Nigerians.

According to its Managing Director, Mr. Nicolas Terraz in a paper he presented during a gas producers forum at the 10th Nigerian Gas Association (NGA) conference and exhibition, the plan will further its recent branch out into clean energy technology.

Terraz’s paper which was read by Patrick Olinma, the company’s Executive Director (Gas), was titled ‘harnessing natural gas: new opportunities for Nigeria.’

Total has recently made significant diversification of its renewable energy portfolio following its majority shares (60%) acquisition of US-based Sun Power, one of the world’s largest solar panel makers.

Terraz said this acquisition has made Total very active in solar power. He said there is an imminent competition in Nigeria’s solar power sector with the recent signing of 14 power purchase agreements by solar plant developers with the federal government to generate 1,125MW of power into the grid. 

“Nigeria’s current available power generation capacity hovers between 3,500 to 5,000 MW.  This is amongst the world’s lowest electricity consumption per capita according to the World Bank.

“There is a huge gap between where we are at the moment and the target of 25,000 MW by 2025 which provides a lot of opportunities for investment in power plants and related projects,” said Terraz.

He further explained: “I am of course aware that there is now competition with the recent signing of 14 PPAs by solar farm power plant developers with NBET to potentially provide 1,125MW of power to the grid.

“As you may know, Total is very active in solar power having acquired majority shares in Sun Power, a US based company, which is one of the largest solar panel manufacturers in the world.

“And as a matter of fact, we are currently looking at opportunities of developing solar plants in Nigeria. However, even if all of these solar plants materialize, I have no doubt that the bulk of electricity in Nigeria will still come from gas fired power plants for the foreseeable future.”