The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, who made this call during a panel discussion on power at the Nigeria Investment Summit in New York, said the gas-based industrial park offered investment opportunities in petrochemical, fertilizer, methanol and other non-oil sectors of the Nigerian economy.
Yakubu, who was represented by the Group Executive Director, Gas and Power, Dr. David Ige, said in a statement on Wednesday that the project was the choice destination for quick return on investment.
The statement was signed by the Acting Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Ms. Tumini Green.
The Federal Government and the private sector are expected to invest $15bn (N2.39tn) in the 2,700-hectare gas-based industrial park. The contractors were expected to have moved to the project site since June.
The NNPC had during the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas, United State in May, 2013, said the clearing and preparatory activities would begin at the Ogidigben site in June.
Ige, who spoke for the corporation, had said, “Though this project is late relative to our timing, we are making progress. Our plan is that in the next one month or two, we are going to move to site for site clearing and construction will begin.
“The Ogidigben Industrial Park will have a fertilizer plant, a petrochemical plant, a central processing facility and a power plant of 350-megawatt capacity. There will be big commercial and residential areas. It is going to be the biggest gas-based industrial park in Africa.”
But three months after, the project has failed to commence. Our correspondent gathered that delayed paper work by the Federal Government and contractors was largely responsible for this.
When contacted, Ige told our correspondent that the Federal Government and the contractors were putting finishing touches to the paper work and would soon move to the site.
“As mentioned at the conference, we will be commencing site activities at Ogidigben very shortly,” he said.
The NNPC also said in the statement that the massive ongoing gas pipeline projects across the country would provide a veritable platform for individual homes and estates to be linked with gas to enhance its domestic use.
According to him, the domestic use of gas provides cleaner and safer energy for households, adding that the SPDC estate in Warri is already fully wired up with gas for domestic use.
He observed that the ongoing trunk Calabar-Ajaokuta-Kano gas pipeline project would soon avail the NNPC the opportunity to provide gas through pipelines to homes and estates in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, which he noted as a ready market for the project.
Yakubu posited that steady and sustainable progress was being made on the gas to power project, adding that the gas supply had grown from 620 million standard cubic feet per day to 920mmscfd between 2010 and 2013.
According to him, supply is seeing rapid growth, but demand growth is even faster.
He said, “Supply grew at an average annual rate of 20 per cent in the last three years to 1500mmscfd. The non-power sector has almost doubled from 185mmscfd to 310mmscfd. Similarly, over 360km of gas pipelines has been completed and commissioned.”
The NNPC GMD projected that by the second quarter of 2015, gas demand for the power sector would grow to 2200mmcfd, noting that with the massive outlay of pipelines, the NNPC would continue to grow gas supply exponentially to meet the demand.
The NNPC helmsman stated that other gas supply projects are ongoing and are at various levels of maturation.
The biggest, according to him, is the Assa North with a target capacity of 750mmcfd by end of 2018, adding that 2150mmcfd of additional gas supply is being anticipated by the end of 2018.
Information from Punch was used in this report.