Gas in the mix – Nigeria’s fuel of choice
by R Kuriakose, Cummins
Electricity+Control, August 2014, page 28
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The demand for power is increasing in Nigeria causing the federal government to consider privatisation programmes at the power station and across the distribution network. Despite this move, mini-grid solutions remain popular options for consumers – an area in which Cummins is active in the country.
People generally seem to consider three factors – lowest cost, simplest solution and a readily available fuel source. Mini-grid solutions are the most viable option for grid reinforcement during peak hour shortages and distribution cable paralysis.
The company is planning to increase its involvement in the mini-grid solutions market, in an effort to secure embedded support for distribution companies in the country. The mini-grid solutions have an optimal size of 60 MW, while the more popular solutions have a capacity of between 10 - 20 MW, with supply available in different areas for customised customers – industrial as well as residential.
Companies rely on this supplier for their power supply through mini-grid networks and capital purchases. Therefore, guarantees must be put into place to ensure power supply is secured. A reliability rate of up to 99,8 % has been demonstrated by Cummins. In the past year, downtime on one project has measured just 13 seconds.
The company has been supplying gas-powered gensets to the Nigerian market for ten years. In 2013, the Nigerian branch was established as a dedicated gas dealer to tap into the country’s growing demand for gas-powered gensets and mini-grid solutions for use across industrial and commercial areas.
- As in many highly populated countries, Nigeria’s power infrastructure is stressed.
- Nigeria’s power grid system is neither reliable nor consistent.
- Nigeria’s power supply consists of a complex mixture of grid, mini-grid and smaller genset applications.