In this interview with CHIKA IZUORA, the chief operating officer, Quest Gas & Power Limited, Dele Taiwo, says Nigeria’s electricity industry requires massive injection of funds for modern infrastructure
Urgent, critical, and focused investment to unlock the low-hanging fruits is the way forward. There is a need for investments in infrastructure to enhance transmission and distribution segments, investments in new methods and technology to drive efficiencies within the system. Improved metering to increase revenue collection and reduce losses in grid power are some of the several ways to stabilize the sector.
I believe that the government has done its own bit in terms of providing some incentives and a platform for the private sector to thrive. However, in developed climes, the government has no business running businesses. That should be left to the private sector that is wired to do that. Government should focus on providing an enabling environment with supportive regulations. Privatization allows the government to focus on its core mandate. If well carried out, privatization will help free up resources otherwise tied up in poorly run government enterprises as was the case with NEPA.
Public-private partnership is one of the ways of achieving sustainable development in the power sector. Is there any ongoing partnership between Quest Gas & Power and the government?
We are exploring opportunities in the public-private space but as we all know this is fraught with many challenges and potential and mines. Policy somersaults and reversals could potentially wipe off your investment. I am not saying this cannot happen, but a critical element of such alignment is the ability of the off-taker to pay for the service-whether it is the government on behalf of the consumer, the consumer directly and another public utility company. We are presently working with a state government in its street lighting program providing operations and maintenance as a service. We are projecting to kick off a 5MW solar power solution with one of the Discos as a co-off taker.
Does Quest Gas & Power have any major projects in the pipeline?
Quest Gas & Power is highly ambitious, aggressive with a high level of discontent. We are engaged in several active projects. In the Captive and Distributed power space, we carry an aggregate portfolio in excess of 22 MW. In the gas sector, we are building a gas storage facility with a capacity of 10,000 MT scalable to 15,000MT in Delta State, a Composite Cylinder Manufacturing Plant in Lekki FTZ with an LPG Bottling Plant to leverage the gas value chain.
The race for renewable and cleaner energy is gaining momentum by the day. How are you repositioning to take advantage of this global transitioning?
Our core business is to provide affordable, clean, renewable, and sustainable energy for the Commercial and Industrial sectors. We provide reliable and efficient power and gas infrastructure development to meet customer power needs. We deploy our technical expertise to support our client companies in the procurement and installation of Natural gas generators and Boilers, as well as heaters for their operations.
We design, install and operate embedded power solutions (IPPs) with CHP capabilities to meet clients’ needs by deploying gas-fired generators. Often customers require hybrid solutions -usually Solar and Gas power to meet its shifting and varied power needs.
According to Bloomberg NEF forecasts, solar and wind will power half the globe by 2050. This means that non-renewable energy would be forced out by cheaper renewables and cleaner natural gas. Our goal is to provide clean, affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy to our customers inline with the United Nations sustainable development goal 7.
In a few years, we intend to migrate our customers who have fossil-fuel power assets that are almost expiring and nearing the end of their life to move to renewables by offering a wide range of distributed energy solutions. This would involve a mix of renewables; solar, steam and zero-emission hydrogen-fueled generators and energy storage systems to provide lean and low-cost energy solutions. Deliberately, most of our new installations are powered by cleaner natural gas and renewable solar power. Hydrogen-fueled generators although expensive offer zero-emission renewable power sources that can be deployed to support existing grid power