Nigeria’s Gas Ambition

Ige, GED, Gas and Power, NNPC
Ige, GED, Gas and Power, NNPC

Nigeria is set to become a regional hub for gas in 2017

|  By Maureen Chigbo  |  Mar. 11, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT

NIGERIA is gearing up to become a regional hub for gas, petrochemical and fertiliser by 2017, according to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, projection. David Ige, group executive director, Gas and Power, NNPC, said February 21, that gas development reform and capacity in the country were being redoubled and that a few years from now, the entire nation would be wired up for gas. “All that we need to make Nigeria a regional hub of petrochemical and fertiliser is in place,” he said.

According to Ige, the federal government has started a major gas infrastructure development initiative which is designed to create flexibility of movement of domestic gas nationwide. The government has, over the years, invested billions of Naira to develop gas infrastructure. Some of them include the Ajaokuta-Kano-Kaduna gas line, which is at an advanced stage of design and would supply gas to the northern part of the country for power generation and gas-based industries.

”The massive investment in gas infrastructure has led to improvements in gas supply and power availability and it depicts the holistic approach of this administration in resolving the power crisis in Nigeria permanently,” Ige said, adding,
”the nation is on its way to achieving gas export parity, a development that would encourage greater investment by the private sector in the gas exploration and production.”

One of the fallouts of the policy of increasing gas production and utilisation in the country is the growth of domestic gas usage. Already, 300 taxi drivers have converted their cars to run on gas in Benin. This information was provided by Ige, who received the prestigious Man of the Year Award from the Oil and Gas Year book that chronicles the Who’s Who of the Global Energy Industry in Abuja.

It should be recalled that Nigeria’s dream of becoming a hub for fertiliser got a boost recently when the African Development Bank approved $100 million loan to Indorama Eleme Fertiliser and Chemicals Limited, IEFCL, for the building of a gas-urea fertiliser plant in Port Harcourt. The plant will serve markets in Benin, Brazil, Ghana, India, Nigeria, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

The plant is expected to start production in 2015, and will allow Nigeria, which relies heavily (80 per cent) on imported fertiliser, to progressively become self-sufficient and a major exporter. Ultimately, the project will act as a catalyst to support job creation in the area in addition to striving towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals in the areas of food sufficiency and a cleaner environment.

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