Nigeria is poised to control 10 percent of the global fertiliser market through its gas revolution agenda, which has already made more than five investors to set up fertiliser plants in the country
| By Maureen Chigbo | Sep. 16, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT
NIGERIA is systematically being positioned to control 10 percent of global fertiliser market by 2017, if all the planned fertiliser plant projects are completed on schedule. Some of the proposed fertiliser plants in the country include the Dangote Petrochemical and Fertiliser Plant to be built at Olokha, Indorama Fertiliser Plant at Eleme, Brass Fertiliser Company at Brass, Nagarjuna Fertilser Plant at Ogidigben, and another plant by the International Fertiliser Association. The projects will all be completed before or by 2017.
The increasing interest of investors in the fertiliser industry in the country is ignited by the Gas Revolution Agenda which President Goodluck Jonathan launched in March 2011. The agenda buttressed the need for the gas sector to drive growth in all sectors of the economy especially the agricultural sector. This, according to the Diezani Alison-Madueke, minister of petroleum resources, necessitated the excision of some key areas of the Gas Master Plan from the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB to accelerate its implementation under the gas revolution agenda.
The programme has begun to yield dividends with plans for the establishment of a number of new fertiliser plants at advanced stages. On Wednesday, September 4, a consortium of about eight Nigerian banks, along with other international finance institutions, signed a $3 billion loan agreement for the construction of Dangote Petrochemical and Fertiliser Plant. The gas policy framework is also the thrust of the two pronged policy of gas-to-power and gas-to-industries which is to drive linkages between the power and industrial sectors.
It will also have the agricultural sector serving as a linchpin in the industrial sector on account of its enormous job-creation potentials and the multiplier effect it will have on the economy. To encourage investors in the gas-driven sector, the federal government has tackled the gas supply challenges by introducing fair pricing that is compatible with what obtains in major gas producing countries like Egypt and Trinidad and Tobago. It has also embarked on massive construction of gas infrastructure such as gas pipelines and gas processing plants.
The result of all the efforts to utilise gas is a reduction in the gas being flared in the country. According to the petroleum minister, gas flare has been reduced considerably in the past two years to 20 percent. Also, the series of gas projects including the oncoming petrochemical and fertiliser plants would take up a bulk of the gas currently flared thereby reducing gas flare and the harm it does to the environment. Alison-Madueke stated this at the plenary session of the 19th Nigerian Economic Summit entitled, “Building a World Class Petrochemical and Fertiliser Industry in Nigeria”.
Kunle Allen, managing director of Gas Aggregator Company of Nigeria, who also confirmed the development of new fertiliser plants at the event, stated that apart from Notore which is already into fertiliser production, six new companies had approached the Gas Aggregator Company to firm up gas supply arrangements for their fertiliser plants and that talks were at advanced stages with the companies.
A statement issued by Tumuni Green, acting group general manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, quoted Allen as saying that the gas supply change is being further tackled through the dedication of 10 percent of domestic gas obligation for gas-to-industry to petrochemical and fertiliser plants.
If the influx of investors setting up the fertiliser plants is successfully sustained, then Alison-Madueke’s assurance that the Gas Revolution Agenda aimed at using the nation’s abundant gas resources to galvanise all-round economic growth is making steady progress towards achieving its objective will become a reality come 2017.