Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke
By Ejiofor Alike
Leading Nigerian indigenous oil company, Oando Plc, Monday made history with the successful completion of 128-kilometre gas pipeline system from Akwa Ibom to Cross River State, built by Oando Gas and Power, one of its subsidiaries.
Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, immediately announced that the inauguration of the project marked the successful take-off of the gas revolution programme of the Federal Government.
Speaking during the inauguration Monday, Group Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. Wale Tinubu, said the pipeline was built under a joint venture arrangement with the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
He disclosed that the 18-inch pipeline would accelerate industrialisation in the South-south region by providing cheaper, safer, cleaner and environmentally friendly fuel to industries in the region.
“The gas infrastructure has the capacity to deliver up to 100million standard cubic feet per day (mmscf/d) of natural gas and will deliver an initial 22mmscf/d of gas to its maiden customer, United Cement Company (UNICEM), to fuel its new 2.5million metric tonnes per annum cement plant, located in Mfamosing, Akampka Local Government Area of Cross River State,” he said.
Tinubu said his company pioneered the private sector pipeline and distribution of natural gas to industrial and commercial consumers.
According to him, the distribution of natural gas is helping indigenous industries become globally competitive and increasing their profitability by cutting energy cost by as much as 50 per cent.
He noted that first gas was delivered from the company’s Lagos grid, developed under Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) arrangement with NGC in year 2000, to Cadbury, a leading confectioner.
“Today, over 120 industries are connected to the approximately 100 kilometres of gas pipeline in the Ikeja and Greater Lagos business communities and are fast enjoying gas advantage,” he added.
He expressed appreciation to the governments and people of Akwa Ibom and Cross River States for their support in making the project a success.
In her address, Alison-Madueke said the completion of the project marked the successful take-off of the gas revolution programme of the Federal Government, which targets a $25 billion worth of investment, and would generate about $10 billion over the next three years.
According to her, over 500,000 direct and indirect jobs are expected to be created from the Oando gas project and other similar projects contained in the gas revolution agenda.
“The completion of this project marks the beginning of a journey towards the restoration of Nigeria into the league of Nations that have successfully enjoyed the advantage of the abundance of natural gas to positively impact on the lives of present and future generations of their citizens. By 2014, this present government would have positioned Nigeria firmly as the undisputed regional hub for such gas-based industries as fertiliser, petrochemicals and methanol.
“As a nation, we are continually striving to realise the fullness of the great potentials in the vast human and natural resources which Nigeria has been blessed with. One such major resource is our proven gas reserves base estimated at 187trillion cubic feet and a further undiscovered potential of 600 trillion cubic feet,” she said.