BY YEMIE ADEOYE
Oando Plc, Nigeria’s foremost integrated energy company has successfully built and commissioned a 128 kilometre gas pipeline from Akwa Ibom to Cross River state, south-south Nigeria.
The milestone follows the Federal Government’s commitment towards optimal utilisation of the nation’s enormous gas reserves to boost the industrial and powers sectors of the economy,
This historic and massive project conceived by the Nigerian Gas Company, NGC, was developed by Oando and delivered at the stipulated time with zero casualty record.
According the company’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Wale Tinubu, with about 187 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves and 600 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered potential, Nigeria is well positioned to join countries like Brazil and Indonesia in catalyzing its economy by leveraging its gas assets.
“The role of gas in national transformation and industrialization cannot be over-emphasised. In March this year, the President, in launching the gas revolution, stated that Nigeria will leverage its strength in the abundance of natural gas to transform the lives of present and future generations. This commissioning is a demonstration of our commitment to support the actualisation of that transformation”.
Speaking on the significance of the project, Tinubu said that it exemplifies the importance of public private partnership, PPP, in the infrastructural rebirth of Nigeria, as the synergies of both parties have resulted in the delivery of an economic enabler for businesses in the South-South.
“It is our ideology in Oando that Nigerians are capable of delivering ingenious world-class solutions to the challenges facing us as a nation. Among us today are many proponents of the Nigerian content and I am sure they are very proud of our achievement.
“This project was conceived by the Nigerian Gas Company, developed by a Nigerian corporate, Oando’s East Horizon Gas Company, executed by a Nigerian contractor, Oilserv, using indigenous sub-contractors and talents from the two states and financed by a consortium of Nigerian financial institutions including: First Bank, Kakawa, FSDH, FCMB, Access bank, Fidelity bank, Ecobank and Sterling bank.”
Tinubu further extolled the virtues of his company in the areas of safety and project excellence. “This 128km natural gas pipeline was built to the highest engineering standards and excellence achievable for a project of this nature anywhere in the world.
“As a safety conscious organisation, we took every reasonable care to build this natural gas pipeline with as little impact on the environment as possible. As you may well imagine, a pipeline across seven major rivers, swamps and indeed 115 separate communities was fraught with major challenges. It is a testament to the resilience and ingenuity of our project execution team and our sub-contractors that we were able to bring this project to a successful conclusion.
He said further, “In our vision of building the largest pipeline grid in sub-Saharan Africa it is a notable fact that we have a rich history of investing in the development of energy infrastructure in Nigeria. Our Oando Gas and Power subsidiary pioneered the private sector piping and distribution of natural gas to industrial and commercial consumers in the greater Lagos Area. This has enabled industries in the area to access a cleaner, safer and environmentally friendlier alternative, when compared to other forms of energy.
“Over 120 industries connected to our 100km gas grid in Lagos, have cut their energy costs by as much as 50 percent. This has tremendously improved their profitability and making them globally competitive brands. We have operated this franchise for more than 11 years now without any incident.
On the back of this pipeline, we built a 12.15MW Power Plant for the Lagos Water Corporation. This gas fired plant increased the efficiency of the corporation by 300% and is saving Lagos State Government $3.9million annually from the tax payer’s money that would have been spent on buying alternative fuel.”
Furthermore, Tinubu disclosed Oando Gas and Power, in August 2011, assumed the management of an existing gas pipeline in Port Harcourt, following a rigorous tender. The pipeline which has a throughput of about 40 million standard cubic metres per year (mmscm/year), currently serves industries in Trans-Amadi.
“We are indeed pleased to add this 128km gas pipeline from Akwa Ibom to Cross River State to our growing list of natural gas pipeline systems. With the continued support of the government in the creation of an enabling environment, we are on course to achieve our vision,” he added.