Saturday, September 27, 2008

Electricity Chad

This is one country with the potential to be self sufficient if those running the government choose to.
Chad has a large reserve of oil, which is slowly being tapped, but lack of refinery means the oil has to be exported unrefined through the joint pipeline with Cameroon, and finished products IMPORTED; folks this sound like Africa in the colonial days when raw material go to the masters in Europe at bargain basement prices and then finished products return at exorbitant prices.
Maybe I am being a little too harsh on Chad, after all they just started their oil business, and petroleum refineries are not built over night.
With regard to the topic at hand, electricity production is about 96 Megawatts, and just about all of it is consumed (88 Megawatts). With these kinds of numbers, you are tempted to say Chad is meeting her needs when it comes to electricity, wrong! A large segment of the population rely on Biomass, firewood and dried animal manure for energy because the electricity and refined oil products are expensive.
Considering how long Chad has been “Independent”, there should have been more development than what has been done.

Folks, I see more hippos in this environment than cheetahs.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Electricity Nigeria part 1

I thought I will never make it to Nigeria, but I am finally here!.
First, for the record, Nigeria is the most populous nation on the continent of Africa, with more than 140 million people. Since I am only talking about electricity availability or lack of it, I am not going to broach the subject of literacy.

Nigeria is larger than Texas (in the USA).
Possible electricity generating capability (including installed, but not producing) is 6 Giga watts. Actual production is 2.6 Giga watts. Peak demand of the whole country is more than 30 Giga watts. FOLKS THAT IS A SHORT-FALL OF about 27 Giga watts.
With this facts stated, how do we analyze what we have. To begin, Nigeria is trying to do what is done in the USA, electricity would be produce and distributed by private companies. This is a noble idea, but with the country awash in extortion and bribery, how do you regulate electricity production by private companies across 10 States. How much bribe do you pay and to whom do you pay to get service across state lines.
The fact is electricity production of our present day is only about 10% of the actual demand. Blackouts are common across Nigeria.
The bulk of electricity production is from thermal reactors ( about 55%) while the rest is split between hydro and diesel.
So why is Nigeria in this mess? First, lack of maintenance. Second, equipment upgrade is foreign to those running the system, and for that matter, the government. With Nigeria drowning in oil, one will think new generators would be put in place about every year or 2 across the country.
Folks, this is supposed to be a blog, and not a thesis.
I would have to tackle this one at least one or two more times before I march on to Chad and Cameroon.The conclusion for now is, there is too much corruption across this landscape. It is exceptionally difficulty to do business at any level.

My personal take on Nigeria is that, there are more hippos stampeding on this landscape than there are cheetahs.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Electricity Benin

My electricity tour of Africa has taken me to Benin, and sadly, I do NOT know and do not have much to say about Benin.
From the time of Souru Migan Apithy to this present day, Benin has been the country cousin of every other country on the continent. This country has never shaken the idea of living in an ancient kingdom out of their system. The military people have not helped the situation during the years they were there.
When it comes to electricity, Benin has to rely on her neighbours, and would continue to do so until Benin has something to offer somebody else. Benin has no coal for electricity, no mountains with rivers flowing for Hydro, and definitely no oil for diesel generators.

Electricity Benin does not exist so far as I can tell.

Folks, I have scratched and scratch, and so far I see nothing but hippos on this landscape.