By Clara       Nwachukwu
LAGOS — THE Federal Government’s efforts to boost power supply in the country have been given a lift with the completion of the gas pipelines that will supply gas to the Alaoji power plant.

Nestoil Plc announced, yesterday, that it had completed the construction and commissioning of the following pipelines that will feed the plant, which is currently Nigeria’s second biggest power plant.

The pipelines include the 18-inch-3.2 km Class 600 gas pipeline at Alaoji, and the 18-inch-0.9km class 600 gas pipeline at Owaza, all in Abia State.

Also completed and commissioned are the new 50mmscfd capacity Pressure Regulating facilities at Aba and the modularised pressure regulating and metering facilities at Alaoji.

According to Project Manager, for Nestoil, an indigenous oil and gas firm, completion of the pipelines for the 1,074 Megawatt, MW, combined cycle power plant, which were completed in February and March this year, is the icing on the cake for its 20 years anniversary celebration because it was completed within budget and on schedule.

Project Manager, for Nestoil, Mr. Michael Nnanna, said, “The pipeline systems construction was completed on February 25, 2011, the commissioning of the pressure regulating facilities at the Nigerian Gas Company, NGC Aba Metering Station was achieved with the introduction of liquefied petroleum gas, LPG, on February 28, while the pipeline system at Owaza was commissioned on March 1, 2011. The testing and commissioning of the Alaoji main gas pipeline also commenced on February 28, with LPG introduced on March 13, via the hot tap loop line.”

He also explained that the contract for the construction of the pipeline was awarded to it by the NGC, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, on August 31, 2010, with a completion date of February 28, 2011. It added that it mobilised to site on September 10, 2010.

Nestoil further said that the completion of the gas pipelines will further consolidate its place in the construction sub_sector of Nigeria’s plum oil and gas industry.

The company said that part of the challenge in executing the job was the realisation that the pipeline length at Alaoji was 3.2KM, against the 2.5KM stipulated in the contract, just as the pipeline length at Owaza was 0.9KM against stipulated 1.2KM. “These differences were, however, reconciled with the NGC Project team, resulting in an additional pipeline length of approx. 350m,” Nnanna added.

Accordingly, he concluded, “It should be stated clearly that NESTOIL has delivered her contractual obligations and the pipeline and process facilities are all operational currently at Aba and Owaza while the Alaoji pipeline has been commissioned and locked up since the power plant is not yet ready to take up the gas.”

Nestoil Plc is one of Nigeria’s leading indigenous Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Commissioning, EPCC companies, and has been a major beneficiary of federal government ’s local content initiative.

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