•Project to generate 30,000 jobs
Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its partners yesterday took a Final Investment Decision (FID) on the $3.6bn Integrated Gas Processing and Methanol Plant in Odioma, Brass Island, Bayelsa State.
The project is being executed by the Brass Fertiliser and Petrochemical Company Limited (BFPCL), an incorporated entity owned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), DSV Engineering, and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).
At the event, that national oil company pledged that it would do everything within its powers to ensure the prompt completion of the project.
Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, who spoke during the FID signing ceremony of the project which held Friday at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, noted that the plant would be of immense economic benefits to the country when completed.
A press release by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr. Kennie Obateru, stated that the facility is projected to be the largest methanol plant in Africa and the first in Nigeria.
Kyari said the corporation would do everything possible to make the project come to fruition, noting that NNPC was pleased with the current efforts by the federal government to provide value for Nigeria’s gas resources.
Describing the FID as one of the most significant FIDs in recent times, Kyari said the project was in tandem with the earlier declaration of 2020 as the year of gas and 2021-2030 as the decade of gas by the minister of state for petroleum resources.
He remarked that the construction phase of the project would create about 30,000 jobs in addition to the 5,000 permanent jobs which would come in place when the plant becomes operational.
Earlier in his welcome address, the BFPCL Board Chairman, who is also the NNPC Chief Operating Officer, Gas and Power, Mr. Usman Yusuf, disclosed that already a lump sum Turnkey Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract had been awarded to the China Tianchen Engineering Corporation (TCC) while TATA Consulting Engineers are providing project management consultancy for the delivery of the plant in 2024.
“In 2017, BFPCL secured an Initial Gas Sales and Purchase Agreement (GSPA) with SPDC JV for a 25-year supply of 270MMscf/d rich gas to the project.
“The integrated project is estimated to cost about $3.6 billion and is expected to deliver 10,000TPD Methanol products to the export and local markets,” he stated.
In his presentation, the Executive Vice-Chairman of BFPCL, Mr. Ben Okoye, said the signing of the FID was an affirmative vote and consent by the Board to construct the plant.
He explained that with a production capacity of 10,000 tons per day (tpd), the facility would be the largest methanol plant in Africa with a huge potential to provide gainful employment many youths both at the construction and operational stages.
Okoye informed that based on lessons learnt from the historic chequered relationships between host communities and oil and gas companies, the project would allow for host communities to have equity shareholding participation to give them a sense of belonging.
Speaking at the event, the Minister of State Petroleum Resources and Alternate Chairman of the NNPC Board, Chief Sylva, said the FID marked yet another milestone in the ongoing efforts to monetise and add value to the nation’s abundant natural gas endowments.
He noted that in July 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the development of the Brass Gas Hub with the sole aim of aggregating and monetising all stranded gas in the Brass area which amounts to over 14 trillion cubic feet.
“Today we are witnessing the signing of the Final Investment Decision of Phase 1 of the Brass Gas Hub by the promoters of this laudable project.
“The project is expected to have very significant economic impact on the country including but not limited to support for gas based industries, revenue generation, import substitution for the methanol needs of the country that is currently 100 per cent imported, among others’’ the minister said.
While assuring the BFPCL of government support, he called on the company to ensure timeous completion of the project.