Tony Elumelu, a well-known global business leader and chairman of Heirs Holdings has announced the group’s ambition to generate at least a quarter of Nigeria’s power consumption needs within the next five years.
Heirs Holdings’ interests in the power sector include Transcorp Ughelli Power, a gas-fired, thermal power generating plant that was acquired under the privatisation of Nigeria’s power sector.
Elumelu will deliver the keynote address at this year’s West African Power Industry Convention (WAPIC) in Lagos from 18 to 19 November. The 11th edition of this long running, high-level energy conference and expo will once again assemble utilities, government, consultants and investors to discuss the challenges of capacity building, local markets and investment.
“The power industry is a catalytic sector and the development of our country and our continent cannot happen without fixing it,” stated the chairman of Heirs Holdings.
He further described the USA’s Power Africa Initiative as “an amazing opportunity to democratize access to power for Africans, and the $2.5 billion investment commitment we have made reflects exactly how excited I am about it. The present administration made a bold decision when it decided to affect the changes envisaged by the Power Sector Reform Act — legislation that had been on the books since 2005. And that bold step was reinforced during President Barack Obama’s last visit to Africa. We felt more strongly than ever, the need to help power Africa.”
“Our experience so far at Ughelli power plant is testimony to the size of the opportunity; our amazing team has taken that plant from 150MW capacity when we took over in November 2013, to 450MW today; we expect it to increase 700MW by October and to achieve 1000MW by the second quarter of 2015. At that rate, we’ll be contributing 20 per cent of Nigeria’s total power generation.” Furthermore, he says they are working on a greenfield project that will expand the capacity of Ughelli by an additional 1000MW in the next three to five years and they have signed an MOU with GE and Symbion Power to facilitate this,” he added.