By Emmanuel Addeh
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation said Monday that the 40-inch x 614km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline project will be completed in 24 months.
The project is a section of the Trans-Nigeria Gas Pipeline (TNGP) with capacity to transport about 2.2 billion cubic feet of gas per day.
The national oil company noted that the federal government’s aspiration to boost domestic utilisation of gas in Nigeria will be boosted as President Muhammadu Buhari performs the flag-off of the construction Tuesday.
A release by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Dr. Kennie Obateru, explained that the presidential inauguration would be performed virtually from the Aso Rock Villa in Abuja.
He stated that it will be done with simultaneous link to two locations: Rigachukun, Kaduna State and Ajaokuta Steel Complex in Kogi State.
The release stated that the economic benefits of the AKK pipeline, which would originate from Ajaokuta, in Kogi State and traverse Abuja (FCT), Niger, Kaduna and terminate at Kano, would boost domestic utilisation of natural gas for Nigeria’s social economic development, when completed.
It would also unlock 2.2 billion cubic feet of gas to the domestic market, support the addition of 3,600 megawatts of power to the national grid and revitalise textile industries which alone boasts of over three million jobs in parts of the country, the NNPC stressed.
The release added that the AKK project would support the development of petrochemicals, fertiliser, methanol and other gas-based industries, thereby generating employment opportunities and facilitating balanced economic growth.
The NNPC explained that the Right of Way (RoW) for the proposed AKK gas pipeline would run parallel to the existing Nigerian Pipelines and Storage Company’s 16 inch-crude oil and 12-inch product pipelines wherever possible.
The corporation said the pipeline would be fed from the existing domestic infrastructure with a capacity of over 1.5 billion cubic feet per day.
It added that the project is being expanded by Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System II (ELPS II) and Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben (OB3) gas pipeline (under construction) that will double the capacity to over 3 billion cubic gas per day.
The project was conceptualised as an integral part of the Nigerian Gas Master Plan (NGMC), a gas infrastructure blueprint, which was approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in 2008.
The NNPC said the AKK has received serious attention of the Buhari administration leading to the award of the Engineering Procurement and Construction Contract (EPC) of the project by the Federal Executive Council in 2017.
The corporation noted that within the last 12 months, the project received extra fillip from the current NNPC leadership led by Mr Mele Kyari, which removed the impediments that have stalled the project over the years leading to the inauguration Tuesday.
The AKK, the company said, is ultimately designed to complement other major domestic gas transmission systems.
They include the Western axis, that is, the existing 36-inch Escravos-Lagos Pipeline I and II with 2.2 billion cubic feet per day capacity and the on-going East-West connection via the OB3 pipeline featuring 2.4 billion cubic feet per day capacity.