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How Nigeria Can Benefit from Europe Energy Crisis

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With the U.S., EU and U.K. looking to phase out Russian gas imports, Western leaders could look to liquified natural gas projects in sub-Saharan Africa to soften the landing, Elliot Smith writes.

Russia and the West remain at odds over payment for natural gas exports, on which Europe, in particular, is heavily dependent, with Moscow insisting “unfriendly” countries pay for gas deliveries in Russian rubles, a demand G-7 nations have rebuffed.

The divergence comes in the wake of an unprecedented and coordinated barrage of international sanctions leveled against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

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The U.S. has declared a complete ban on Russian oil, gas and coal imports, while the U.K. intends to phase out Russian oil by the end of the year and the EU aims to cut its reliance on Russian imports by two-thirds.

Russia accounts for around 40% of the EU’s natural gas exports, with Germany and Italy particularly exposed. Germany issued an “early warning” on Wednesday that natural gas rationing could be required if a full supply shortage ensues.

The EU has struck a deal with the U.S. for an additional 15 billion cubic meters of LNG, though former U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said Monday that this would not be enough to fill the Russian shortfall.

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Italian Foreign Minister Luigi di Maio told CNBC on Tuesday that over the past month, he had traveled to countries such as Mozambique, the Republic of Congo and Angola in a bid to forge new LNG supply partnerships.

“Energy security is fundamental for countries that are global manufacturing powers like Italy and many others, and we must be able to diversify our energy sourcing,” Di Maio said.

“We are diversifying away from our dependence on Russia to avoid any eventual threats from Russia on our gas supply and to continue our green transition with new and different energy sources.”

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In a research note last week, Africa analysts at political risk consultancy Verisk Maplecroft said that while the continent cannot fill the void left by Russian natural gas imports, it could help to shore up supply.

Oil majors BP, TotalEnergies and Eni have all established a presence on the African subcontinent from which to build, along with U.S. oil majors such as Exxon Mobil.

Verisk Maplecroft noted that BP is furthest along in efforts to bring online a major LNG project in sub-Saharan Africa and could double down on these, particularly at the Tortue gas fields straddling the border between Senegal and Mauritania.

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Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi announced earlier this month the Italian giant is able to provide Europe with an additional 14 trillion cubic feet of gas between now and 2025 from assets situated around the world, including in Angola, Congo, Nigeria and Mozambique. Angola and Congo have already agreed to boost gas exports to Italy, with Eni serving as an intermediary.

Huge potential, significant obstacles

Analysts Alexandre Raymakers, Maja Bovcon and Eric Humphery-Smith highlighted that Senegal, Mauritania, Nigeria and Angola are best placed to increase production, though the bulk of new supply will not arrive until the second half of the decade.

“The political and fiscal stability in Senegal and Mauritania mean that projects are well placed for LNG development, while the likely re-election of the MPLA in Angola in August 2022 will also enable an uptick in investment,” Verisk Maplecroft said.

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Mozambique is also host to colossal natural gas reserves, with several European energy giants establishing facilities in the country, but it is beset by a violent Islamist insurgency that has forced shutdowns at some of these facilities in recent years.

There is also room for expansion among other major LNG players in the Gulf of Guinea, Verisk Maplecroft suggested, such as Nigeria, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea.

“An improved gas price environment could swing the balance of profitability for a number of projects in Nigeria, allowing for additional supply for existing and planned LNG projects,” the report said.

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“For instance, the Ukraine crisis will likely increase the attractiveness of the long-planned Nigeria LNG Train 7 that is expected to come online in 2026 and will require an additional 1,200mmcfd of gas supply from Nigerian gas projects.”

The analysts also noted the beginnings of a revival of interest in the dormant Fortuna FLNG project in Equatorial Guinea.

However, a rise in piracy in the region, including opportunistic attacks on LNG tankers in recent years, may prove a deterrent.

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Ultimately, Verisk Maplecroft estimates that even if all known greenfield LNG projects in sub-Saharan Africa were active and operating at maximum capacity, they would still only account for approximately half of Russia’s gas supply to Europe.

“The improved gas demand and price environment means sub-Saharan Africa region can help fill some of the gap left by embargoed Russian gas supplies, but it can’t solve the problem alone,” the report concluded.

 

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Energy

Total blackout, anger as national grid collapses again

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The electricity national grid has collapsed again leaving the country

The latest collapse, the third in less than a month, came despite assurances by the Federal Government that it has taken steps to address the problem.

The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) who manages the grid had last month said it had developed alternative ways of managing the grid.

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TCN had stated that its “in-house engineers have deployed a stop-gap solution to improve grid monitoring and acquisition of data from remote stations (power stations and transmission substations) to the National Control Centre. This was achieved by utilizing the Internet of Things (IoT) solution, and Virtual Private Network (VPN) by using various Internet Service Providers (ISP).

“This temporary use of the Network Automation System was deployed to assist TCN in conveying critical operational measurements data from remote stations to NCC using Web Technology, which is an integral component of the IoT. So far, the data received from remote stations has enabled NCC to obtain more insight into the situation of the power flow on the grid and has enabled NCC to make decisions that have impacted positively on the security and integrity of the Grid.

“The stop-gap solution became necessary as TCN could not access and receive comprehensive operational data of the entire power grid for managing the fast-growing system. The existing inadequate SCADA System cannot provide adequate grid visibility, as parts of the existing SCADA system are moribund and damaged, coupled with an ineffective telecommunication network infrastructure. The fact that several stations were never integrated into the existing SCADA at all, and made grid visibility and management very difficult and inefficient”.

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National Grid Collapse – Lagos, others suffer outage

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Ikeja electricity pre-paid meter

Lagos, Abuja, Enugu, and other cities across the country experienced a blackout on Monday following the collapse of the national grid.

No fewer than four Distribution Companies (DISCOs) confirmed the development via social media, informing their customers of the situation in their respective domains.

They blamed the outage being experienced by consumers in various states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on a general system collapse that occurred at about 10:40am.

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In a statement by its Head of Corporate Communications, Emeka Ezeh, the Enugu Electricity Distribution Plc (EEDC) said it was on standby and awaiting a signal from the National Control Centre (NCC) for restoration of supply.

READ ALSOThe Only Way You Can Get Ikeja Electric Meter Free of Charge

“The Enugu Electricity Distribution PLC (EEDC) wishes to inform her esteemed customers in the South East of a general system collapse which occurred this morning, Monday, 14th March 2022 at 10:40 am,” Ezeh said.

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“This is the reason for the loss of supply currently being experienced across the network. Consequently, all our outgoing feeders are out and supply to our customers in Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo States are affected by this development.”

On its part, the Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) assured its customers that it was following up with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to restore power/

“Dear esteemed customer(s), we regret to inform you of a total system collapse on the national grid at 10:40 am today, leading to outages across our network.

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“We are closely monitoring the situation with our TCN partners to determine the cause and a timeline for resolution. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience as we will keep you updated on the situation,” it said.

The Abuja Electricity Distribution Plc (AEDC) and Kaduna Electric also notified their customers about the outage in separate statements.

Read the statements below:

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The Only Way You Can Get Ikeja Electric Meter Free of Charge

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Ikeja electricity pre-paid meter

How to get Ikeja Electric Prepaid meters Free of Charge

An official of Ikeja Electric, James Timothy, has said that electric meters are free to their customers in spite of the payment they make to acquire them for their property if they can register under the National Mass Metering Programme.

Speaking at a virtual sensitisation meeting organised by IE for youth leaders and stakeholders on Friday, March 4, 2022, Timothy said that meters rolled out under the Federal Government’s National Mass Metering Programme were free to consumers.

However, the official of the IE Metering Project Team said that though no payment was required at all for meters issued under the Federal Government’s NMMP because all payments had been made by the Central Bank of Nigeria, meters issued under the MAP scheme required payment by consumers before they could be issued.

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“The amount paid by a customer to acquire a meter under the MAP scheme will be refunded to the customer in the form of energy credit spread over the period of 36 months. So, it is also free,” he said.

Timothy added that the Phase Zero of the Federal Government’s NMMP  had been completed with over 106,000 customers metered. He said the IE now awaited the Federal Government to release meters for the Phase one of the programme.

He also said the Phase two of the MAP scheme was currently ongoing and customers who could not wait for the Federal Government’s NMMP should key into the MAP scheme, as he promised speedy metering for all applicants. He noted that over 300,000 customers were metered under the first phase of the MAP scheme, and several others were already being metered under the Phase two.

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SAFETY DURING THE INCOMING RAINY SEASON DO YOU DO GET ELECTROCUTED

Speaking on safety, a safety expert from IE, Aniefiok Etim, urged every customer to be safety conscious as they approached the rainy season.

He stated that many of the installations on the IE network were inherited and some were already weak and dilapidated. He noted that the weak installations could be easily impacted by the rain and cause electrocution if people conducted activities too close to them.

He also urged parents to ensure that electrical appliances were kept away from children to avoid electrocution at home as he advised customers to avoid overloading sockets in their homes.

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Also speaking at the sensitisation meeting, the IE Manager of Media and Community Relations, Akinola Ayeni, charged stakeholders on the need to engage the communication channels of the company for customer complaints and other issues.

He decried the rate at which field officers were being harassed while on their duty and pleaded that customers should report issues via the communication channels which were given out during the meeting, instead of resorting to assault or violence.

Responding to a question on safety, Ayeni said it was dangerous for people to conduct any activity, or build any property around electric installations. He said, “People conducting any kind of activity or erecting any building must give a minimum distance of 5.5 metres on both sides, from 11kV and 33kV lines.

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“A minimum distance of 15metres is required on both sides of a 132kV line; while a minimum of 25 metres must be given, on both sides, from a 330kV line.”

According to him, the recommended distance would ensure safety in the event of fallen poles or snapped cables.

Other officials in attendance were Ijeoma Ezeolisah, Edwin Agbo, and the IE Ikorodu Business Unit Public Relations Officer, Adebayo Dawodu.

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Ayeni thanked customers from the Ikorodu Business Unit, especially those from Igbogbo-Baiyeku Undertaking, for attending the meeting in large number, Techscoops learnt from the PUNCH

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