New Delhi: Contrary to NTPC Ltd’s claims that it could source gas from Nigeria for its plants in India based on an existing understanding, a Nigerian government official said the company would have to start its efforts afresh.
Following the change of government in 2007, Nigeria has, as part of the National Gas Master Plan, put in place new guidelines wherein state-owned power utility NTPC will have to get clearance to build a power plant in the country and only then be eligible to bid for hydrocarbon blocks. All downstream projects will have to conform to this road map and the authorities there have received 48 proposals from companies all over the world.
“NTPC is yet to start work on the power plant due to this development. A final call will be taken to this respect by April this year,” said Emmanuel O. Egbogah, special adviser to the Nigerian president on petroleum matters, on the sidelines of Petrotech 2009 being held here.
Fresh delays: NTPC chairman and managing director R.S. Sharma.
The memorandum of understanding, signed in 2007, was for supply of 3 million tonnes of gas a year for NTPC’s projects in India.
In return for the gas, NTPC was to build a 700MW gas-fired power plant and a 500MW coal-based plant in Nigeria, and renovate a 200MW unit at a 1,320MW plant. It had also offered to train around 30 Nigerian engineers and set up a training institute in the country. The deal was delayed after a change of government in Nigeria in 2007.
NTPC’s plan to source gas from Nigeria for its projects in India have faltered because of delays in finalizing an alliance with a local partner, as reported by Mint on 30 October.
“We will shortly be sending a team to Nigeria to discuss matters at the highest level and try to resolve the issue. Maybe I will also go there to discuss and resolve the issue,” R.S. Sharma, chairman and managing director, NTPC said.
Liquefied natural gas, or LNG, supply from Nigeria may require an estimated investment of $1.7 billion (Rs8,262 crore) for building an LNG liquefaction terminal in Nigeria and a regasification terminal in India as gas needs to be transported in liquid form and converted into gas on arrival.