POWER NEEDS

Nigeria 2018 | ENERGY | COLUMN

TBY talks to Patrick Nzekwe, Managing Director, Clarke Energy, on the sector.

Patrick Nzekwe

What projects and investments do you have planned for further growth in Nigeria?

In Nigeria, most of what we do is customer-led. We go in, conduct an analysis, and advise customers on the generators that will take care of their power needs. We install Clarke Energy GE energy generators that do not require diesel as they run on natural gas. A company from Port Harcourt has completed 90% of the distribution building of LNG infrastructure in Port Harcourt. It has acquired tankers for transportation and 50-ton storage tanks, and by the end of 2018 we will commission that plant. With that gas, we will be able to reach markets in the north, which we were previously unable to.

What challenges come with the increased awareness of more efficient gas engines?

There is now competition; Mecon, which used to be predominately diesel, saw an opportunity in gas and is manufacturing gas engines with its partners from Europe. We also have a Chinese company, Jinan, with cheap generators. They are not efficient; however, because of the price, people are willing to buy them and then replace them after two years. This affects our sales as some companies are reluctant to spend money.