Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
The federal government has unveiled the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) gas hub on a 10.6-hectare piece of land, which was earlier proposed as a pipe mill for the oil and gas industry in 2013.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, who performed the ceremony, also used the opportunity to carry out the ground-breaking ceremony of Rungas Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) composite cylinder manufacturing plant located inside the gas hub at Polaku community in Bayelsa State.
The board had purchased the land in 2013 for the purpose of establishing a pipe mill, but the company said discussions with various investors regarding setting up of the pipe mill did not yield desired results, thereby forcing it to deploy it for other productive uses.
Sylva stated that the project was in furtherance of the efforts of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to diversify the Nigerian economy by developing the country’s huge gas resources across the entire value chain.
He added that the event was a practical step being taken to give effect to the federal government’s declaration of 2020 as the year of gas.
On the proximity of the gas hub to the Shell Gbarain-Ubie Gas Plant, the minister hinted that it would provide opportunities to leverage and activate value-adding initiatives.
According to him, “The location of this land is close to the Gbarain Gas Plant that produces more than one billion standard cubic feet per day of gas. That will provide opportunities to leverage on the proximity to activate value-adding initiatives and lead to industrialisation and multiple economic activities.”
Sylva explained that achieving LPG penetration across Nigeria would require targeted interventions directed at both the demand and supply end of the LPG value-chain.
The minister said the manufacturing plant would have the capacity to produce between 400,000 and one million LPG composite cylinders per annum, and in turn make composite LPG cylinders accessible and affordable to Nigerians as well as create employment opportunities during its construction and operations phase.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Mr. Simbi Wabote, explained that the board developed a 10-year strategic roadmap in 2017 and commenced its implementation in January 2018 with an ambitious goal of achieving 70 percent Nigerian content level by the year 2027.
“Technical capability development is one of the pillars of our strategic roadmap meant to facilitate the building of manufacturing facilities and capabilities to support in-country manufacturing and assembly of equipment and input materials required for exploration and production activities,’’ he said.
He mentioned that the activities would contribute to the NCDMB’s drive towards the 70 percent Nigerian content and creation of job opportunities among other economic activities.