The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it has unveiled plans to expand gas generation and distribution in the country to support Federal Government’s plan of generating 10 GigaWatts of electricity.
Mr Ndu Ughamadu, NNPC spokesperson, said this in a statement on Friday in Abuja.
He said the Corporation’s Group Managing Director, (GMD), Dr Maikanti Baru said this when a delegation of Nigerian Gas Association,(NGA) paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.
Baru said that the recent debt settlement for Joint Ventures (JV) would have great impact on the gas industry.
He said the JV initiative was capable of providing some dedicated funds to develop oil the sector.
“We share the aspiration of government to raise power generation to at least 10GW capacity, not just 10GW in terms of installed capacity but also one that will be steady in the grid by 2020.
“All these will drive our activities to ensure that the gas business is expanded and government’s aspiration to earn as much revenue from gas as oil will be realised definitely,” Baru said.
He said significant progress had been recorded in the contracting process of the 2.7 billion-dollar Ajaokuta-Abuja-Kaduna-Kano pipeline project.
“We have gone far with the development of the project, using the same paradigm shift of Public Private Partnership (PPP) financing.
“We have also gone far with the contracting process, part of it is to ensure that money meant for the project is raised from the private investors.”
He expressed optimism that the achievement recorded in the project would bring a new dimension in gas projects execution in the country and motivate private investors funding of such projects.
Baru said the Chinese had contributed 250 million dollars for project development at a recent financing agreement signed in London.
According to him, Chinese banks have made commitments to provide adequate finance for oil and gas investments in Nigeria.
“On that occasion, I did challenge the Chinese banks that since they have now come on board, they should move from the back seat to the driver’s seat.
“They gave me their commitments that they have plans to bring in as much money as we need to execute our projects.
“If the Chinese tell you that they are going do it, definitely they will do it and we will give them a run for their money.”
Baru said NNPC would make inputs into the National Gas Policy, recently adopted by the Federal Executive Council and the proposed fiscal Bills on gas by the legislature.
Baru called on the association to extend its advocacy to the power sector, given its utilisation of gas in the country.
According to him, another project that will increase gas consumption in the country is the Ogidigben Gas Industrial City project, adding that NNPC is committed to completing the project.
Baru said the corporation would continue to support NGA in the execution of its mandate.
The NGA President, Mr Dada Thomas, commended the GMD for the numerous laudable initiatives by NNPC.
“We would like to congratulate the NNPC on a number of paradigm shifts, changes and initiatives it had brought to the fore in recent times.
“I am talking about the new alternative funding which he recently signed with Shell and Chevron to the tune of 1.78 billion dollars
“The clearing of 400 million-dollar debt in April, the progress being made on the Elf 2loop lines and the OB3 gas project, one of the most critical gas pipelines in the country,” Thomas said.
Highlight of the visit was the nomination of NNPC GMD as the Chairman, Advisory Council of NGA by the executive of the association, Ughamadu said.