The oil and gas industry has continued to get the much needed boost as Tony Elumelu, chairman, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria, (Transcorp) Group announced to the company shareholders how it has grown Ughelli Power Plant’s capacity from 160 megawatts (mw) to 610mw.
Elumelu said the plant which Transcorp acquired in 2012 at the cost of $300 million, is being positioned to be a leader in the Nigerian power industry, with a medium-term plan of generating two 500mw in the next three years.
“Our ambition of generating at least a quarter of Nigeria’s power consumption remains firmly on course as we continue to consolidate the gains made at the Ughelli Power Plant.
“Power output at the plant increased from 342mw in December 2013 to 610mw by December 2014, as we diligently executed our rehabilitation programme. Our goal is to increase output at the plant to 850mw by December 2015. TUPL’s medium term plan is to increase generating capacity at the plant to over 2,500mw in the next three years,” he said.
Elumelu added that members of board and management of the corporation were already exploring a coal alternative to feed the plant rather than gas, which had been subjected to supply disruptions due to attacks of saboteurs who blow up the pipelines.
He also revealed plans to begin the exploratory drilling of its oil prospecting licence (OPL) 281 before the end of this year; while maintaining that the management of Transcorp had turned the company into a diversified conglomerate with interest in four strategic sectors of the nation’s economy. The sectors are power, oil and gas, hospitality and agriculture.
Elumelu said the company, through its subsidiary, Transcorp Energy Limited, which was established in 2008, had been positioned to focus on upstream petroleum development.
For instance, he said to facilitate the exploration, a production sharing contract had been signed with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation for the development of the oil block, which is located in Delta State.
Elumelu said, “We are in the final stage of securing approval to commence our drilling programme. We expect to begin exploratory drilling on our oil block, OPL 281, before the end of 2015.
“Our ambitions are clear in this space as we want to build a fully integrated energy company, owning, producing, distributing and utilising the gas that is Nigeria’s most valuable long-term natural resources for significantly enhanced power generation.”
Emmanuel Nnorom, president/chief executive, Transcorp, had earlier, noted that the Ughelli Power Plant currently accounted for 15 per cent of total output in the country and targets to increase it to 20 per cent within the next two weeks.

Maureen Nzeogu
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