The Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, on Monday said the institution would by October this year leave national grid and generate its own 24-hour power.
Declaring open the African Institute for Science Policy and Innovation International Biennial Conference, Ogunbodede said by the time the university exited the national grid, between N35m and 65m being cost of energy would be saved monthly.
Ogunbodede, who claimed that the university’s daily energy needs was below six megawatt, said the gas turbine that would power the university and its teaching hospital was capable of generating over eight megawatt daily.
Listing other gains of the project, Ogunbodede, said some neighbouring communities would also benefit from the excess energy that the turbine would generate.
He said, “One of the key challenges we have is the unstable supply of energy. In fact, it is so erratic that you cannot plan any meaningful research. Luckily now, we are working with Rural Electrification Agency to provide for us a gas-powered turbine that will generate 8.0 megawatts of electricity.
“What we consume as a university is between 5 to 6 megawatts daily. With 8.03 megawatts, we will be comfortable. This project started in 2017 and the completion period is two years.
“However, due to the fast pace of the work, the project will be delivered by the end of October. We are now very sure that by the end of October Obafemi Awolowo University will be generating its own electricity and what that means is that we will be off the national grid.
“Presently, we pay between N35m and N65m per month for electricity. By the time we start generating our own electricity, money will be saved.”
In his keynote address on the topic, “Gas Resource Utilisation and Energy Needs for Sustaining Base and Development in Nigeria,” a technical manager to ExxonMobil Projects, Nigeria, Dr Adetunji Obawole, said security challenges were pushing up operating cost for many foreign oil and gas companies operating in the country.
He said many big foreign companies operating in oil and gas sectors may take their investments out of the country, unless solutions were found to numerous challenges affecting cost of production in the country.