Nigeria plans to develop coal for power

Oct 05, 2009 02:00 AM

Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mrs Deziani Allison-Madueke, has said the Federal Government is taking steps to ensure proper use of coal, to boost energy generation.
Allison-Madueke said News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja, that 11 strategic coal clusters had been established in the country.

"For coal, we looked at the situation and quickly developed 11 strategic coal clusters. Each of the clusters was put together to allow quantities of coal in each sector that would supply independent power projects," she said, adding that the ministry decided on coal clusters because of a lack of rail infrastructure to carry heavy tonnage of coal.
"The reason for having them as integrated enclaves is because we lack the basic infrastructural logistics, such as railway lines and roads that will carry heavy tonnage of coal and iron ore to the ports for export," she said.

Allison-Madueke said her Ministry was working with the Ministry of Power toward effective use of coal in power generation.
"We are working very closely with Ministry of Power to try over the next few months, to put together a pilot project that we can kick off with, to enjoy the benefit of coal to power. There is no country in the world that has coal resources that is not using them for purposes of energy generation," she said.

The minister noted that even the US, with all the environmental concerns, used coal for energy purposes, adding that Nigeria had no excuse not to find ways of using its coal for energy generation.
Allison-Madueke also said the solid minerals sector could generate 20 mm jobs. She said though the sector might not yield the huge revenues needed now, it could, if well managed, create employment.

"This is a sector that I keep saying is not the sector that will give Nigeria the major revenues or the major foreign direct investment that we are looking for over the next few years. But it is an area that is incredibly important, because if well handled and well articulated, it will presentat least 20 mm jobs."
So it is obviously very important in the areas of employment generation and poverty alleviation," Allison-Madueke said. She called for support for small-scale miners in terms of capacity building and updating of their skills and knowledge, adding that "it is sometimes more important than funding."

Source / This Day
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