SPECIAL REPORT: Egbin Power Plant: Bringing Energy and Greenery to Life in Africa’s Largest Economy

SPECIAL REPORT: Egbin Power Plant: Bringing Energy and Greenery to Life in Africa’s Largest Economy

One of the main challenges in Nigeria is a stable electricity generation and distribution. This has led to alternative generation and usage by the people and businesses. A recent report indicates that Nigeria is one of the countries in Africa where a total of $120 billion is needed in the next 5 decades to close electricity gap.

Though, Nigeria has 30 power plants with an installed capacity to generate more than 13,000 MW, transmitting and distributing this in the last few years by the electricity transmission and distribution companies remains a herculean task. According to a number of sources, perused by our analyst, the Transmission Company of Nigeria can only transmit 7,000MW, while the distribution companies have the capacity to handle 3,000MW, distributing to the residential and industrial places across the country.

As narratives and alternative narratives continue trailing issues in the Africa’s largest economy, we learnt that the public are not relent in seeking information and knowledge of the reasons to have ability to generate that amount of electricity and still not have electricity for residential and industrial consumption.

In our experience, we found that a significant number of members of the public developed interest in energy generation and distribution between 2015 and 2020. We discovered that the interest in energy generation connected with the 30 power plants’ capacity to generate more than 13,000MW by 27.3%. While this seems good, analysis shows that one percent of interest in the plants’ energy generation capacity reduced interest in energy distribution by 28.8%. This reaffirms the earlier position that people are losing interest in the TCN and DISCOs.

Exhibit 1: Power Plants and Their Generation Capacity

Source: NERC, 2020

Bringing Energy to Life

Despite varied macroeconomic and communal challenges facing businesses in Nigeria, especially those with the interest in the power industry, Egbin Power Plant, a subsidiary of Sahara Group, is one of the companies contributing to sustainable energy generation. This plant came into existence more than 30 years ago. It is situated on 600 hectares of land at Ijede, a suburb of Lagos city.

Since 1985, a significant amount of money has been spent on infrastructure and over 350 employees. In 2018, Sahara Energy invests $200m in Egbin Power Plant to generate 1,100MW. During the year, the management of the plant promised generation of 5,000MW in 5 years.  It contributes 13% of the total electricity generated to the national grid, making it the heartbeat of Power and the largest provider of electricity to Africa’s largest economy. Indeed, the plant is fulfilling its strategic principle of bringing energy to life in spite of challenges. It believes in “powering prosperity” through top quality power generation, leveraging cutting edge technologies.  According to the data released by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) for the Q1 2020, the plant generated 14.82%, the highest.

Exhibit 2: Share (%) of Generation Output by Plants in Q1 2020

Source: NERC, 2020

Bringing Greenery to Life

There is no doubt businesses and individuals need energy to be operational at offices and homes. They also want a better share of the consumption when the generating companies must have done the needful in terms of embracing the right sustainability practices. Egbin Power Plant, at least, has demonstrated that it is ready to bring energy to the life of businesses and people. Our analysis indicates that one percent of public interest in energy generation increases interest in green environment by 19.6%.

One of the employees at the corporate level at the plant recently notes that “a typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per year and this is equivalent to an average of 0.0126 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per day. Every walk-to-work and bike-to-work activity as well as riding on the electric buggies within the facility prevents emission of 3.78 metric tonnes per day of carbon dioxide from about 150 cars within Egbin and 1379.7 metric tons every year.”

Based on the outcome of our analysis and employee’s position, our analyst visited the premises of Egbin Power Plant to observe and document sustainability practices of the management of the Plant within the context of green environment in power plants. This is imperative has different researches established that the Plant and others have capacity of generating CO2 emission, NOx emission, particulate matter, SOx among others, which can harm people and aquatic lives.

From Ikorodu to Ijede, our analyst experienced severe heat. This is connected with air and noise pollution in the area. Our analyst notes that the effects should have been minimal if there are trees planted along the roadsides. As he moved towards the Power Plant he was panicked and thought about how the life would be at the Plant location.

Getting to the main entrance of the Plant at about 5pm on Wednesday, 11 November 2019, he participated in the routine security check up and visitors’ documentation. A few minutes after documentation and entering the main premises, his premonition about the severe heat and other possible effects of air and noise pollution changed. Everywhere is green, contributing to the breeze that welcomes him. This experience further reinforced what he had earlier found when public interest in green environments in relation to power plants was analysed along with the interest in Egbin Power Plant and others. Analysis reveals that in 260 weeks, people developed significant interests in green environment and knowing Egbin power plant more than others. For instance, one unit of interest in green environment led to 11.4% interest in the Egbin Power Plant.

From Estate to Powerfields Group of Schools and other strategic structures on the premises, trees of different species are planted. On the both sides of the roads, our analyst also discovered various categories of flowers and other ornamental plants capable of reducing climate change impacts on living and non-living things. In his words, Abdullah Oladipo, the Project Team Lead of Green Facilities, notes that greenery reduces amount of air and noise pollution, increases value and lifespan of facilities on the premises, and improves people’s well-being. “It makes the premises more appealing,” he stressed.

“What I love most about the company was how they took the safety and health of every employee, including the Interns seriously,” one of the previous employees of the Plant said while narrating his experience on an employee review portal in 2020. With the two days experience, our analyst observes that Egbin Power Plant walks its talks in terms of providing a sustainable environment for stakeholders not only bringing energy to life.


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