The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday said it had tendered and was expecting contractor financiers to take up the construction of its 650 kilometres northern gas line network which would run from Ajaokuta in Kogi State to Abuja, Kaduna and then Kano when completed.
The tender processes for the construction of the line, it said would be concluded by the end of the second quarter (Q2) of 2017, after which preferred bids who would recoup their investments from the operations of the line ought to be announced.
The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, stated this in an interview with journalists shortly after his remarks at the 2017 edition of the annual Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Oloibiri Lecture Series and Energy Forum (OLEF) which was held at the auditorium of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Abuja.
The 2017 OLEF had as its topic, ‘Domestic Gas Utilisation in Nigeria: From Producers to Users,’ and the President of the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA), Mr. Dada Thomas as its lead speaker.
Baru said the corporation would put in good efforts on the construction of the Ajaokuta to Kano gas line, adding that the 123 kilometres East-West Obiafo/Obirikom to Oben (OB3) pipeline and looping of the Escravos-Lagos Gas Pipeline System from Warri to Lagos would also be completed by the end of 2017, and July 2017 respectively.
“The Ajaokuta-Abuja-Kaduna-Kano pipeline is currently on tender. This project will soon be awarded under a contractor financing scheme. The pipeline is a typical example of public private partnership and it is being tendered and going to be funded by partners who would recover their investments from the operations of the pipeline,” said Baru.
He stated: “We intend that we should conclude the tenders latest by the end of second quarter, we are determined to conclude most of the processes.”
The line from its project schedule is expected to run 187 kilometres from Ajaokuta to Abuja, 193 kilometres from Abuja to Kaduna, 65 kilometres from Kaduna to Zaria, and then the balance from Zaria to Kano.
Baru equally disclosed that unless quickly addressed, the current operational challenges experienced in Nigeria’s power sector could limit gas generation companies (Gencos) from increasing their outputs to 6000 megawatts (MW) of electricity by the second quarter of 2017.
According to him, while the Gencos would be able to increase their outputs on account of improved gas supply to them by then, the operational inabilities of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and electricity distribution companies (Discos) could keep Nigerians from getting up to that.
He said: “As we speak today, there is enough gas to generate about 4800MW and 6000MW by Q2 2017 based on our gas supply plan but the power sector is presently struggling to evacuate 4500MW power due to Discos’ incessant rejection of allocated load and transmission line constraints.”