By Udeme Akpan, Energy Editor
THE Federal Government has intensified efforts at getting investors to buy its 50 gas-flaring clusters in the Niger Delta, under the nation’s Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme, NGFCP.
Checks by Vanguard showed that the government has already engaged many potential investors in Europe and the United States, while efforts are underway to meet some groups in Canada.
The gesture is based on the government’s conviction that the potential investors, expected to partner with their domestic counterparts hold the key for success, especially as they have adequate technologies, funds and experience to invest in the project as stipulated in the nation’s Petroleum Industry Act, PIA.
The Chief Executive, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, NUPRC, Gbenga Komolafe, who confirmed the development in a telephone interview with Vanguard, yesterday, said: “President Muhammadu Buhari has already expressed commitment to ending gas flaring. As an agency, we are in the process of implementing this project to realise the objectives, including the harnessing of additional energy for domestic consumption, creation of jobs, technology transfer and Energy transition.
“It is better for us as a government to inform the international community because it demonstrates our commitment to the project. We believe that it would make the task much easier to indigenous investors interested in partnering with foreign stakeholders, including financiers to develop the gas clusters.”
Engagement with ExxonMobil, B&B Energy
He said: “Apart from holding engagements with potential investors in Europe, United States and Canada through webinars, we have also engaged with selected groups, including ExxonMobil and B&B Energy with the hope that they would collaborate with domestic investors to buy and develop the gas clusters, thus creating many multiplier effects.”
It showed that with the emergence of the PIA and NUPRC, fresh efforts were made to restructure and relaunch the programme in August 2022, thus ensuring end-to-end value was established.
Komolafe had recently told Vanguard: “Following its inauguration in August 2022, the NGFCP team indeed hit the ground running and we are confident that an accelerated implementation will be realized as intended.
”It is noteworthy though, that the Commission also engaged the investment communities in a Pre-Bidders’ Conference on October 19 to feel the pulse of the market and gauge the expectations of interested parties.
”We have fed the valuable inputs received from the international conference into the Programme to ensure the successful and seamless actualization of our objectives. In response to the market, the commission extended the Statement of Qualification, SOQ, submission deadline to November 28, 2022, to enable wider participation by various interest groups in the opportunities afforded by this first-of-its-kind auction round.”