By Edith Ike-Eboh
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Total Joint Venture and the Greenville LNG have signed a Memoradum of Understanding (MoU) on Gas Sales Aggregation Agreement (GSAA) worth 500million dollars to enhance the gas sector in the country .
Dr Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of State, Petroleum Resource, disclosed this at the signing of the agreement on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said the move was part on the 7 Bigwin programme of the ministry that geared towards ensuring that the gas sector of the economy was developed.
“This is a unique day for us, the first break launch project in the absence of pipeline vandalism.
`This move will help to unlock opportunities and help to improve on the power situation in the country,’’ he said
Kachikwu said that discussion had been on in the last two years to get to the point of signing the MoU adding that two companies had been established to ensure full achievement of the project.
He said that the company Gas and Power Investment company would help in marketing the product while the other would ensure infrastructure development.
“This is a big challenge for investors to access and distribute, we tend to ensure that gas is easily moved and price the same in the various parts of the country,’’ he said
In his remark, Dr Baru Maikanti, Group Managing Director of NNPC said the new move was to expand the gas sector of the economy.
“Today marks the beginning of what we have been looking for in the past 20 years, Total has made a bold move by providing natural gas resources.
“The NNPC is going to provide good business environment to ensure that we move from where we were before,” he said
Represented by Mr Sam Ndukwe, Managing Director, Gas and power Investment Company, he said that NNPC would increase the gas supply by 1.4 and 1.6bn SCF.
He said that this move would also help the Elem gas plant to double its capacity.
Also, Mr Morgan Okwoche , MD Gas Aggreation Company said the MoU would ursher in the era of Virtual pipelines in Nigeria.
According to him, virtual pipeline system is coming at a time when the traditional pipeline system has become endangered, due to incessant pipeline vandalism and other daunting challenges faced in the country.
He said the Greenville will transport the products with specialized LNG trucks which had the capacity to travel about 1,00 KM on LNG before re-fueling.
“Liquefied Natural Gas is Lighter, Cheaper and safer when compared Automotive Gasoline oil ( AGO) also known as diesel and will have less impact on Nigerian roads during transportation to the locations of their customers,’’ he said.
He added that the agreement would give major boost to embedded power generation in Nigeria adding that areas that were not easily accessible by traditional pipelines would be reached through the virtual pipelines for embedded power generation.
He said that the project when commissioned would boost the development of compressed Natural gas as a Vehicular fuel.
He added that the agreement would give opportunity for LNG filling stations to come up and helped to revive the domestic gas industry.
“On employment, Greenville requires close to 500 trucks for transportation which will necessitate the employment of at least 100 personnel.
“This is besides the skilled and unskilled manpower required daily to operate the LNG plant.
“Mini LNG projects will help the manufacturing sector,’’ he said.
He commended Total PLC and urged others to emulate their move and join in effort to develop the gas sector of the country.
In his remark Mr Nicolas Terraz, MD Total, said the company was glad to be part of the pioneer arrangement to boost the gas sector in Nigeria.
He said the mission of the company was to ensure the supply of gas adding that it is making effort to ensure that the work would be done efficiently.
He assured that company would start operation in a month time.(NAN)