The West African Power Industry Convention (WAPIC) held recently in Lagos smashed all attendance records, attracted many power industry heavyweights, celebrated the successes of the power sector privatisation but also discussed the challenges the region is facing with regards to its energy demands.
This is as Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigerian Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, former Nigerian Power Minister Bart Okechukwu Nnaji and Ughelli Power bags the award for Outstanding Woman in Power and Prof Nnaji was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award
In a statement made available to Daily Champion, the Communications manager, Annemarie Roodbol said that other awards were giving to Ughelli Power for the Power Transaction of the Year, Best Rural Electrification Project went to Solar Light Company ,the Best Renewable Energy Project went to Quintas, the Excellence in Power Transmission or Distribution went to ABB while the Excellence in Power Generation went to Seven EnergyAnnemarie Roodbol said that the conference which is a top regional power event recorded success of over 56 percent and the awards given was well deserved.
According to him, this is the first of its kind in the post-privatization period in the country and we are encouraged by the huge success the conference is doing to unlock the power sector.Also the event director Claire O’Connell noted “we had very high expectations for this year’s WAPIC but even our predictions were exceeded. We had a record 350 attendees at the opening session and our overall attendee grew by more than 56% to 1350, compared to 865 last year. Our exhibitor numbers more than doubled to 286, as did the media contingent that attended and covered the event. All in all, a ground breaking success!”she stated that Vibrant messages were imparted by keynote speakers including the importance of the privatisation exercise in the country where licences were provided to six power generation companies, 11 power distribution companies and one power transmission company.
“However”, says O’Connell, “the overarching message from keynote speakers is that the privatisation exercise would be ‘more glamorous if we had power’ and that this robust sector cannot perform optimally without a robust transmission and distribution network.
She noted that the panellists spoke openly about the problematic limited availability of gas which is undermining power generation, but discussions ended on a positive note that it is now up to us to create the right environment for foreign direct investment.” she said that the 11th edition of this long running conference and expo also enjoyed overwhelming support from the industry.
The global networking and telecommunications giant, Huawei, was the exclusive diamond sponsor for WAPIC. Other leading industry names such as the Nigerian IPP Genesis Electricity Limited (GEL) and Aiteo Power Generation and Distribution Company were platinum sponsors for the event.The West African Power Industry Convention is organised by Spintelligent, leading Cape Town-based trade exhibition and conference organiser, and the African office of Clarion Events Ltd, based in the UK.