By G9ija

Oil giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), has declared electricity problem is not about power generation but distribution to various parts despite the nation’s huge gas reserve.

Speaking to newsmen in Warri, at the media launch of the 2019 edition of Shell in Nigeria Briefing Notes over the weekend, SPDC General Manager External Relations, Igo Weli, disclosed the company’s joint venture Afam VI power plant supplied about 13 percent power to the national grid last year.

Weli, who was represented by SPDC Head Government Relations West, Alaye Dokubo, also assured of Shell’s focus on the economic growth and development of its host communities in Delta state, in particular, the Sea Eagle Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel, 19 Producing Fields within four Production Nodes and several gas projects at its operations in Forcados.

He noted that since inception of the Global Memorandum of Understanding, $239 million have been disbursed to fund social investment schemes which supports education, health, sports, as well as enterprise development, Nigeria, especially in Delta state.

Weli also pointed out that these ongoing projects, which include Forcados Yokri Intregated, Southern Swamp, Associated Gas Solution, Escravos NGC and Otumara Associated Gas Gathering, put to rest assertions that Shell is no more in Delta.

“SPDC JV has strong commitment to the development of Delta State and Nigeria through its delivery of positive social outcomes and strong relationships with stakeholders and communities to support business growth and social license to operate.

“While the SPDC JV develops its assets and facilities, it also implements several development projects for host communities, covering economic empowerment, human capital development and provision of social infrastructure.

“As evidence of our commitment to Delta State, in 2018, SPDC JV spent more than N390 million on development projects in Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) clusters on roads, schools, town halls and markets, award of secondary school and university scholarships as well as microcredit programmes for small businesses,” Weli stated.

He further charged stakeholders of the oil and gas industry to put more efforts to ending illegal refinery and pipeline vandalism, stating that 11,000 barrels of crude oil were lost to these activities in 2018.

Shell spokesman, Michael Adande, who explained more on the company’s commitment to sustaining renewable energy for Nigeria, remarked that even when power is generated, its distribution remains a problem because many areas remain unconnected to the national grid.

It will be noted that Nigeria’s production of liquefied natural gas for the year 2018 was put at around 7% of global capacity.

Adande said: “In Shell globally, we have a team called Energy Transition and we recognise that we need to thinks of what is new.

“Our own challenge in Nigeria is really access to energy. You will agree that there are still many places in this country where there is no electricity. You heard our Afam VI power plant supplied 13% of power to the national grid, however, we know that distribution of power in Nigeria is still a big problem.

“Even when you produce all the power, how it gets to people in Nigeria is still a challenge. I’m sure the country is managing that. But what we have tried to do as Shell, because we are more concerned about stakeholders in our communities or areas of operation, we have set up outfits.

“What we are talking about here is access to energy and one of the companies that you may have checked is called All-On. We wanted it to run on its own. It is a company that enables people to have access to energy.

“As part of efforts to creating sustainable and commercially viable energy, Shell has taken some critical gas development projects, in partnership with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), to increase gas supply for power generation,” he said.