Tinubu Inaugurates 3 Gas Projects, Pledges to Wean Nigeria from Overdependence on Petrol, Diesel

•Says ending gas flaring top priority for his administration

•Gas minister discloses domestic production has increased by 800MMscf/day

Emmanuel Addeh, Deji Elumoye in Abuja and Peter Uzoho in Lagos

President Bola Tinubu yesterday inaugurated three critical gas projects in Delta and Imo states, pledging to reverse Nigeria’s overdependence on petrol and diesel to the more efficient natural gas resources.

The president spoke virtually at the commissioning of the expansion of the Ashtavinayak Hydrocarbon Limited (AHL) Gas Processing Plant in Kwale, Delta, the Assa North-Ohaji (ANOH) Gas Processing Plant in Ohaji-Egbema and the 23.3km ANOH to Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben (OB3) Custody Transfer Metering Station Gas Pipeline Projects.

Tinubu stated that the three projects were of utmost importance to him, as it significantly increased Nigeria’s aspiration to embrace cleaner and more efficient fuels.

He noted that his recent directive to government agencies to fully embrace vehicles powered by Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) was a step in that direction.

“When we resumed 11 months ago, I asked for this project. I made it my priority and the administration’s priority clear on gas for prosperity. They said, this might take a few years, these three projects. Upon later review, they didn’t make further promises. What they said, was they will surprise Nigeria.

“Today is a great day for your achievement, demonstrating teamwork, commitment, and dedication. These projects demonstrate the commitment of the administration to develop gas infrastructure to boost the industrial base and create employment opportunities for our people.

“ It’s also in line with the decade of gas initiative while eliminating gas flaring and celebrating industrialisation,” he stated, adding that it represented over 25 per cent incremental growth in the gas sector.

According to the president, from the outset of the current administration, it had  been very clear in its intention to leverage  on virtually Nigeria’s unlimited capacity of gas to drive economic growth.

“Beyond the Presidential CNG initiative, which is aimed at moving the good people of Nigeria away from petrol and diesel, as well as commercial fuel products that are also being made, we are incentivising gas development through presidential executive orders.

“I wish to assure the Nigerian people that this project represents only the beginning. The federal government is stepping up its coordination of other landmark projects and initiatives that will ensure the earliest possible realisation of gas to prosperity in our country.

“Equally, I wish to assure investors in energy space that this is an investment enabling government, and we will not relent in our effort to facilitate the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

“We will continue to review ourselves and listen to our partners. It is my sincere hope that the theme of this commissioning: “From Gas to Prosperity and Renewed Hope”, shall be adopted by all gas sector participants, and would-be investors to ramp up efforts to accelerate investment and development of projects in the gas sector on a win-win basis,” he stressed.

 He reiterated the federal government’s resolve to continue to provide support to domestic gas utilisation, increase national power generation capacity, revitalise industries as well as create new and exciting new opportunities for economic growth.

Tinubu added: “It is pleasing that approximately, 500MMscf of gas in aggregate would be supplied to the domestic market from these two gas processing plants, which represents over 25 per cent incremental growth in gas supply. In practical terms, this translates into more gas to the power sector, gas-based industries, and other critical segments of the economy.”

He charged the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) to sustain its relentless efforts and record more successes in the energy sector for the benefit of all Nigerians.

Also speaking, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas) Rt. Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo highlighted the efforts of his ministry to continue to champion the utilisation of gas as a transition fuel as Nigeria moves towards achieving clean energy efficiency and security by 2060.

He said: “Mr. President, the decision to eliminate fuel subsidies at the start of your administration has compelled increased spending in upstream and midstream gas development, and the use of gas as an appropriate, more cost-effective, and cleaner alternative to diesel and gasoline.

“Furthermore, in keeping with the Paris Climate Change agreement, this measure solidifies the use of gas as our transition fuel as we move the Nation towards achieving green energy sufficiency by 2060.”

Describing the projects as important facets of the Decade of Gas initiative, Ekperikpe noted that the federal government’s intervention policy in the gas sector had seen domestic production increase by 800MMscf/day.

On the AHL Gas Processing Plant 2 (GPP-2), the minister said it was a Joint Venture (JV) between NNPC Limited and Sterling Exploration and Production Company Ltd. (SEEPCO), for the   development of the AHL Gas Processing Plant, which will process 200MMscf/d of natural gas.

“In addition to producing over 160,000 metric tonnes of propane and 100,000 metric tonnes of butane annually, this plant promotes rapid industrialisation and reduces reliance on Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) import,” he said.

In his remarks, the Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC, Mr. Mele Kyari described the commissioning as a demonstration of the president’s commitment and support to grow the domestic utilisation of natural gas for power generation, as feedstock for gas-based industries and overall rapid industrialisation of Nigeria on the back of the enormous gas resources in the country.

Kyari assured that as part of its mandate, NNPC remains committed to maintaining energy security by executing more strategic gas projects for the benefit of Nigeria.

“This is to enhance economic growth, elevating prosperity and national rebirth, anchored in delivery, challenging me and my colleagues in NNPC and partners to deliver beyond the ordinary. The amount of work that is done in the last 11 months is beyond precedence. And we thank you (president) for that pressure and that support that you gave us.

“I want to emphasise that the progressive policy direction of this administration to reposition the Nigerian economy and transform the nation from gas to petroleum is making its point and making its mark.

“This is in line with Nigeria’s Decade of Gas Agenda and particularly consistent with the administration’s efforts to boost gas supply to the domestic market.

“We are pleased to inform you that the three projects will enable additional gas processing capacity and also increase supply of petroleum gas, thereby reducing dependency on importation and also on petrol.

“Also, we are in line with the government’s plans to derive value from nation’s gas assets while eliminating gas flaring and moving towards environmentally friendly and cleaner energy sources,” he stated.

He added that the NNPC was executing a compressed natural gas project aimed at providing a cleaner fuel to power vehicles as a cheap alternative to petrol.

“We are also pleased to mention that in line with the just announced directive on the purchase of CNG powered vehicles by institutions of government, and in accordance with the overall objective of broadening CNG as an alternative fuel, NNPC deployed CNG delivery installation in all our installations across the country,” he said.

Chairman of Seplat, Senator Udo Udoma, in his comments, stated that Nigeria has over 200 million trillion cubic feet of gas, but yet its economy and fast-growing population are hampered by poor and expensive access to energy.

“At Assa community of Imo State, where this plant is located, there is over 4 trillion cubic feet of gas, which can feed multiple gas plants, making Assa and Imo State a significant gas processing hub, capable of delivering more than 1 billion cubic feet of gas per day to Nigeria.

“This project, the ANOH gas project, strongly aligns with the mission of leading Nigeria’s energy transition with affordable and reliable energy that drives social and economic prosperity.

“As a testament of our pledge to Nigeria, in partnership with NNPC Limited, we have delivered this project that will support the current administration’s drive for industrialisation and growth of the economy through low-cost, reliable power. To put this into context if all of the gas from this plant went into the power sector, it would produce enough electricity to transform the lives of over 5 million people,” he said.

The Managing Director of Oilserv Engineering Limited, Nnanna Anyanwu said his company was proud to contribute meaningfully to Nigeria’s transition to cleaner fuel.

He said  the completion of Assa Process Treatment Facility to OB3 CTMS works and the 36x 23.3km pipeline had significantly demonstrated Oilserv Limited’s dedication to meeting project timelines, schedule, safety, quality and excellence.

“The project will turn around the Nigerian economy. We have increased our ability to deliver on infrastructure, we have gained the skills but most importantly is that we have improved on our competitiveness globally. Beyond that, is the value we then bring for our clients.

“So by the time you think about this pipeline, how it’s going to unlock gas, how it’s going to contribute to Nigeria’s decade of gas, how it’s to ensure that going forward, Nigeria is able to transition to cleaner fuel, ultimately you see that it’s progress for the nation,” he stressed.

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