Yemie ADEOYE & Oscarline ONWUEMENYI
Determined to achieve the 6000MW power aspiration of the Federal Government and possibly surpass it, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC and Mobil Producing Nigeria has commenced the construction of a power station that will supply 500 mega watts to the national grid and ensure the effective utilisation of the nation’s gas resources which will bring significant benefits to the Nigerian people.
Speaking during the Joint Venture Power Plant ground-breaking ceremony at Qua Iboe Terminal in Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo expressed optimism that with the Federal Government’s 6000MW power target, the Nigerian economy was set to join the next eleven most developed economies in the world.
Dr. Barkindo informed that the 500MW power plant is part of a domestic gas synergy project which also includes onshore flare elimination and a domestic gas pipeline to deliver gas to the national grid.
â€œThe aspiration of the Federal Government to achieve a higher and higher power target remains at the front burner of the nation which has the potential of transforming the Nigerian economy to a tiger economy,â€ Dr. Barkindo said.
He maintained that in addition to the power plant development, the NNPC/MPN joint venture is installing facilities for near term delivery of 100 million cubic feet of gas per day, mcfd to the domestic market and is advancing 400mcfd domestic gas phase ii project.
The NNPC helmsman noted that the project would benefit Nigerians and the people of Akwa Ibom State both in terms of job creation and increased activity for local businesses consistent with government’s Nigerian Content Development programme saying that local capabilities and skills would also be enhanced.
On the request by the governor of Akwa Ibom State for the establishment of a Green Refinery in the state, Dr. Barkindo assured of the readiness of the corporation to work out modalities on the establishment of the refinery adding that in the spirit of the Federal Government amnesty to the former militants in the Niger-Delta region, the corporation was committed to addressing issues confronting the area.
The NNPC GMD commended the neighbouring communities for their cooperation and support and implored them to continue to provide a conducive atmosphere that would support the timely delivery of the project.
In his remarks, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State Mr. Godswill Akpabio commended the NNPC/MPN Joint Venture for the power plant saying the initiative would promote national development and boost the economy of the state.
Represented by his deputy, Engineer Pat Ekpotu, the governor assured of the security of lives and properties of workers of the joint venture noting that with the success of the Federal Government amnesty programme, things were getting better in the state and urged investors to invest in the state.
Earlier, the Lead Country Manager ExxonMobil, Mr. Mark Ward disclosed that the proposed power project includes the construction of an electric power plant as well as a 56-kilometer transmission line connecting the plant to the national grid at Ikot Abasi in Akwa Ibom State.
Mobil Producing Nigeria, operator of the NNPC/MPN Joint Venture awarded the Front End Engineering Design contract for the project in September 2009. FEED is the conceptual process of development and design for large industrial projects such as power plants and the project is expected to last one year.