THE federal government has concluded necessary arrangements to build Africa’s first multi-billion dollar dedicated gas industrial park in Delta State. The project is part of a comprehensive strategy for gas processing. Diezani Alison-Madueke, minister of petroleum resources, gave this hint at the opening session of a three-day national conference/exhibition on gas resources organised by the Senate Committee on Gas, on Monday May, 26, in Abuja.
The minister, who was represented by Andrew Yakubu, group managing director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, disclosed that the proposed park would consist of industries, which would produce fertilizers, petrochemicals, methanol and other related products.
“As part of our infrastructure blueprint, we have entrenched the concept of gas processing facilities with a view to extracting the various constituents of natural gas such as the liquefied petroleum gas, LPG, and ethanol, among others. These will help to grow LPG availability for domestic use, whilst the ethanol will help to fuel the growth of petrochemical industries and the residual gas will then be used as feedstock for fertilizer, methanol and so on,” she said.
Alison-Madueke lamented that successive administrations in the country had made gas to play a second fiddle to crude oil as it was treated as a nuisance by-product of oil production. “This mindset governed how the gas sector was handled initially; hence, pricing of gas was deliberately low because it was aimed at disposing an unwanted product.”
The minister also explained that the perceived low value of gas did not encourage the development of infrastructure around it, while the dominant legislative framework for the industry was essentially based on crude oil production and not gas. She, however, said that in conformity with global best practices, the Federal Government had ensured that in Nigeria, like in other advanced countries, gas would henceforth take the centre stage in the country’s economic activities. “Gas is fast evolving as the preferred fuel in view of its relatively more impressive environmental credential and lower cost of supply than alternative liquid fuel.”
Committee to Fast-track Gas to Fire Plant
THE federal government has inaugurated an eleven member emergency committee charged with the responsibility to fast track the gas to fire plants revolution. Members of the committee, drawn from key stakeholders in power, the presidency and petroleum resources, were also tasked to find a solution to the lingering gas crisis to ensure accelerated and improved power generation.
The Committee, which has Beks Dagogo-Jack, chairman, presidential task force on power as chairman, David Ige, group executive director, GED,(Gas), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, as co-chairman and nine others. A 12-point term of reference was handed over to the committee, which included the development policy framework that would ensure availability of gas and strategies for curbing vandalism of gas infrastructure.
Inaugurating the committee, Chinedu Nebo, minister of power, recalled the unalloyed political will demonstrated by President Goodluck Jonathan to drive the fast cruising power sector reform to a logical end. He recalled the ambitious plan by government to increase gas-fired plant contribution to the grid from the current 70 percent to 85 percent by December 2014.
“We are thus at the mercy of gas in order to meet this target, it is for this reason that Mr. President has tasked us to find a solution, otherwise we could be strangulated by gas shortage. There is an obvious gap in gas supply. This has been made worse as a result of vandalism; we cannot be giving gas to the world through export, while we are in dire need of gas to fire our plants,” he said.
Nebo therefore appealed to Nigerians to exercise patience, especially with the new owners. He argued that in the short run, there would be expected disruptions, but assured that reports making the rounds now are that there is a remarkable improvement nationwide. The minister also used the occasion to denounce the activities of those he described as energy thieves, and enjoined everyone who expects stable power to pay his or her bills, just as he recognized the importance of liquidity as essential ingredient in the running of the system.
Nigeria’s Super Grid Transmission System
NIGERIA is putting a finishing touch to its plans to build a super grid power transmission system to cope with the anticipated increase in power generation in the country. Benjamin Dikki, director general, Bureau of Public Enterprises,BPE, made this known when he received a team from China Electric Power Equipment and Technology Company Limited, a subsidiary of the State Grid Corporation of China, SGCC, in his office.
He said the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, was willing to consider all options to strengthen its wheeling capacity, adding that as the capacity of generation increases, the TCN would become bankable due to increase in wheeling and transmission charges. He urged the SGCC to liaise with the TCN to key into the planned massive improvement in the national grid system, adding that the sector required massive investment for rehabilitation and new construction.
Speaking earlier, Cheng Wei, leader of the delegation and vice president of SGCC, told the BPE boss that the visit was a follow-up to the visit of Chinese Prime Minister to Nigeria. He stated that the SGCC is China’s largest power company and the world’s largest utility company. According to him, the company operates in China’s 26 provinces, covering about 88 percent of the land area with more than 1.1 billion customer bases. Wei said the company also operates China’s national transmission grid and that of Philippines, Brazil Transmission franchise and have recently acquired 25 percent stake in the Portuguese National Energy Grid Corporation, REN. He informed that the company’s grid expertise ranges from planning, engineering, operation and maintenance to training in transmission and power grid operations. Wei added that the company had recently delivered a $1.4 billion project in Ethiopia as part of its Africa initiative, and that the company arranges financing for some of its projects.
Compiled by Anayo Ezugwu
— Jun. 9, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT