Chineme Okafor in Abuja
Green Energy International ltd (GEIL) and its partner, Lekoil, who are operators of the Otakikpo marginal field in Oil Mining Lease (OML 11) in Andoni Local Government of Rivers State, have disclosed a plan to invest about N2 billion in the generation of electricity for host communities of the oil field.
The communities – Ikuru town, Ayama Ekede, Ugama Ekede, Asuk Ama and Asuk Oyet are expected to benefit from the planned 6 megawatts (MW) electricity project which the firms said would provide uninterrupted electricity to them.
According to the Director of Sustainable Development of GEIL, Mr Ayo Olojede, in Abuja, the electricity project would also boost the economic life of the fishing communities.
Olojede said the power plant would utilise the gas produced from the marginal field to generate its electricity.
“Part of the package to transform the area economically is the plan to encourage the communities to establish an industrial park where companies can leverage on the uninterrupted electricity for industrial use and small scale industries. The total initial cost of the electricity project is in excess of N2 billion,” said Olojede.
He said the partners are currently processing application with the relevant regulators for the installation of a gas processing facility to extract liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and condensate from the wet associated gas from the Otakikpo wells.
According to him, under its corporate social responsibility(CSR), GEIL and its partner has designed a scheme with the communities that would involve local entrepreneurs to distribute the LPGs within and outside communities.
He stated that the company has also introduced a unique community engagement strategy to embark on community development projects under a trust fund which over N1 billion would be put into in all the communities.
Olojede explained that the Otakikpo marginal field was designed as a pilot scheme to demonstrate the applicability of the Small Scale Gas Utilisation Program (SSGUP) concept of the federal government to eliminate gas flaring and promote utilisation of gas derived from the field to energise the economic potentials of the oil producing communities.
He said it was hoped that the successful pilot will lead to more marginal fields embracing the concept, adding that this will decrease gas flaring for small and medium exploration and production companies in alignment with the government’s zero gas flaring policy.
Similarly, the Technical Director of GEIL, Dr. Bunu Alibe stated that the company has commenced a production test which he noted was a critical milestone for the company and its technical partner, Lekoil towards meeting its objective of producing the field.