Congo-Nigeria hydroelectric superhighway grid : an economic viable option
Anieheobi, Callistus Chukwuemeka
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Electricity availability and stability have a great contributory share of industrialization growth rate, poverty statistics, unemployment, foreign investors' participation, medium and small scale encouragement, crime and mortality rates recorded in any country. Nigeria as a country has been challenged with unstable and unreliable power supply. There are many problems associated with electricity production in Nigeria. Such problems are recorded in the generation, transmission and distribution facets of electricity production. With a multi-faceted problem, this document has been developed to deal with the economic aspect of power generation in Nigeria. Out of numerous technologies that are used in power generation, Nigerian predominantly sources its electricity supply from gas power plants and hydropower systems located within the country. Unfortunately, the Nigeria hydropower has been challenged with hydrological shortfalls. The gas power plant which is now conventional is being challenged with the developing gas technology around the globe. This development has adversely affected the cost of gas and subsequently the cost of power production using gas power plants. As a result of hydrological limitations on Nigerian hydropower dams, effect of gas price on cost of energy produced and diversifying gas technology, harnessing electric energy from Inga falls of River Congo was considered as an economic choice of power production in Nigeria. The choice of power production adopted in this document was made from an economic viability studies carried out between Nigerian gas power plants and hydropower production from the River Congo. The choice of technology employed for harnessing electric energy is largely dependent on the economic factors that go with the development. While some of these technologies go with large initial capital investment some are challenged with geometric increase of running cost. As applied in this work, the Net Present Value, Internal Rate of Return, Levelized Cost of Energy and Cash Flow Trend Analysis are suitable tools to determine choice of power plant. These tools were integrated and developed as an NILC model. In the analysis presented in this dissertation, the economic viability of the two power plants selected was determined with the use of the Net Present Value, Internal Rate of Return, Levelized Cost of Energy and Cash Flow Trend Analysis (NILC) model. The model was used to measure the economic viability quantities of the two power plants selected for economic comparison. After the completion of economic comparative analysis, hydropower production from the River Congo was concluded to be a better choice of power production compared to the conventional gas power plant option in Nigeria.
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