Sahara energy targets 5000MW power generation

Kola Adesina, the managing director of Sahara Power Group, says the company is hoping to increase its power generation to 5000MW from the present 2040MW.

Adesina who spoke at the Oil and Gas Council’s Africa Assembly in Paris said the sub-Saharan Africa region needs to build robust capacity to respond to disruptions in the energy sector by way of economic growth, rising demand in Africa, shifting energy mix, changes in the market structure and dynamics, growing share of private investment in Power.

He said the company will implement its expansion plans through investment in diverse energy mix and partnerships.

“Half of Africa’s population lives without access to electricity. The industrial sector is responsible for more than two-thirds of SSA’s total energy use. Average Electricity consumption is about 150kWh per capita. Coal is still the largest fuel source for generation in SSA,” he said.

“As a foremost energy provider in Sub-Saharan Africa, Sahara Power Group is committed to its target of increasing the Group’s generation capacity to 5,000MW via different energy mix. This, in addition to other innovative interventions across the value chain in the region, is being driven by ongoing investments and partnerships.”

Adesina, whose presentation focused on the shifting patterns of Africa’s energy sector from an operator’s perspective, said the sector needs to tackle low electricity access and consumption, low creditworthiness due to current tariffs, inadequate power infrastructure and insufficient regulatory, policy and institutional frameworks.

“A key trend is that there is an increase in investment in the power sector by independent power producers (IPPs), private companies and entrepreneurs, as well as development finance institutions (DFIs) speeding up the process of bridging this gap,” he explained.

“There is a growing interest in regional power pools across the continent and this could be adopted as a strategy to deal with the unevenly distributed energy resources and Africa’s energy problems. More affordable tariffs and an optimal generation capacity could be developed in the power sector through infrastructure linkages of power utilities and the regional power pools.”

Sahara Power Group is the largest privately owned vertically integrated power company in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Group comprises including Egbin Power Plc (largest private thermal power plant in SSA), Ikeja Electric (one of the largest privately run power distribution companies in SSA) and First Independent Limited.

Sahara Power has five power plants across several locations with capacity totalling 2040MW.