Senate Committee Chairman on Petroleum Upstream, Senator Bassey Akpan, says the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Gas Pipeline project remains key to the economic growth of Nigeria.
Akpan said the financing pattern of the project made it possible to come up immediately.
The senator was speaking as the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, disclosed that the gas pipeline project will inject 2.2 billion standard cubic feet per day of gas to the domestic market.
Akpan and Kyari were speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of the project on Tuesday in Ajaokuta, Kogi State.
“Upon completion, the project will enable the injection of 2.2bscf per day of gas into the domestic market and facilitate additional power generation capacity of 3,600MW. The realisation of this project will, therefore, bring about the needed transformation in power generation and industrial growth in the Country”, the NNPC big boss said
While commending the support of President Muhammadu Buhari on the project, he said the event will not have been possible without his full and unflinching support.
According to him, “the current administration under the leadership of President Buhari has made it a priority to ensure revenues from oil and gas resources are utilised to support the emergence and growth of other non-oil sectors of the economy.”
Kyari said the national oil corporation was transitioning toward becoming an Integrated Energy Company to support President Buhari’s economic diversification efforts, pointing out that one of such efforts is the expansion of the corporation’s domestic gas footprint.
He said this was with the delivery of the Trans-Nigeria Pipeline Project which include the Escravos to Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) 2, the Obiafu,-Obrikom-Oben (OB3) gas pipeline and the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline.
“Construction of these critical enablers is in line with NNPC’s responsibility of implementing the National Gas Infrastructure Blueprint which is part of the Nigerian Gas Master Plan.
“The master plan is meant to leverage on the nation’s huge natural gas reserve base to stimulate unprecedented economic growth and enable Nigeria’s migration from the current mono-economy into a diversified economy.
“The gas pipeline project, which is part of the Trans-Nigeria gas pipeline project, involves the establishment of a connecting gas pipeline network that will integrate the Northern region of the country with the Niger Delta, Eastern and Western regions,” he said
He further said that all the required conditions precedent for closing the debt financing had been provided and the process of obtaining internal approvals by the Lenders was in progress to enable financing close by August.
He said that as part of the agreement, NNPC will utilise the equity contribution to commence execution of the project to recover lost time and put the project back on track. “We are confident that the EPC contractors will deliver the project on time, within budget and to quality”, Kyari said.
Senator Akpan however said he has confidence in the effort of the NNPC and all partners, adding, ‘’I am sure that the project will be delivered at the time frame. Nigerians and the economy will be happy at the end of the day.
‘’This project is already projecting indigenous effort with oil serve as the key player. it will create a lot of employment and development.”
Earlier, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi, said the project was a good move for the economic growth of the country, and that it will go a long way to solve energy challenge in Nigeria.
” I commend the President for this project and we look forward to the completion in the near future,” he said.
The 40-inch x 614km gas pipeline project originates from Ajaokuta and traverse Abuja, Niger, Kaduna and terminate at Kano.