Uche Usim, Abuja
In appreciation of the strategic economic strength of the southeast, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Gas Aggregation Company of Nigeria (GACN) have worked out modalities to enthrone gas as a preferred fuel for Nigeria’s industrialisation.
To this end, plans are afoot to expand gas utilisation in the region using both market-based and government-backed frameworks to clear existing bottlenecks to the market’s transition.
Speaking at the Southeast Gas Utilisation Forum organised recently by the GACN in Owerri, the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva stated that besides the region’s enormous natural gas deposit which would be a useful energy supply source, the region’s industrial composition provides for Nigeria’s gas market the complementary demand point needed to unlock the market’s budding potential.
He thus pledged to support the efforts by the NNPC and GACN in deepening gas utilization.
Themed “Natural Gas Utilisation and Optimisation in Nigeria – focus on the South Eastern Hub,” the forum was organised in partnership with the five governors of the region: Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu – Abia; Chief Willie Obiano – Anambra; Engr. Dave Umahi – Ebonyi; Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi – Enugu; and Senator Hope Uzodimma – Imo.
Sylva said that the forum aligned with the government’s vision, “to see that we as a country prioritise utilizing our natural gas resources domestically to create jobs, grow the economy, increase government revenue, attract investments and industrialise the country- all to the benefit of its citizens.”
In his remarks, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari said that the government has consistently taken concerted steps to leverage on gas to build a sustainable economy for Nigeria.
Kyari explained that the outcome of such strategic approach is seen in key gas-based investments that have been made so far by the government.
According to him, an example is the imminent completion of the landmark Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben (OB3) gas pipeline project which will help commercialise over two billion cubic feet per day (BCF/D) of gas and generate billions of US dollars of new revenue and thousands of employment opportunities as gas volumes that were stranded in the East would be brought to the national and regional markets.
“Other numerous examples include NNPC and its partners’ investment in the Assa North-Ohaji South (ANOH) gas project which is one of the largest green field gas condensate development projects ever undertaken in Nigeria, costing approximately a billion US Dollars. The two fields (operated by SPDC and Seplat respectively) are together expected to produce 600Mscfd of gas, equivalent to approximately 2,4GW of electricity,” said Kyari who was represented at the forum by NNPC’s Chief Operating Officer, Gas and Power, Engr. Yusuf Usman.