President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday led top government officials to flag-off the construction of a 614km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Gas Pipeline Project.
Buhari and Osinbajo attended the ceremony virtually from the State House, Abuja.
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Also in attendance at the event were Senate President, Ahmad Lawan; and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation aims to complete the $2.59bn project in two years.
It said the construction phase of the 40-inch by 614km pipeline project would boost domestic gas utilisation.
The corporation said the project will inject 2.2 billion standard cubic feet per day of gas to the domestic market.
Malam Mele Kyari, NNPC Group Managing Director disclosed this at the ground breaking ceremony of the project in Ajaokuta, on Tuesday.
Power generation capacity of 3,600MW
“Upon completion, the project will enable the injection of 2.2bscf/d 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,” he said
The NNPC boss commended the support of President Muhammadu Buhari on the project, adding that the event would not have been possible without his full and unflinching support.
“The current administration under the leadership of His Excellency, President Muhammadu 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,” he said.
The GMD said that NNPC is transitioning toward becoming an Integrated Energy Company to support the President’s economic diversification efforts.
According to him, 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 (AKK) 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 AKK 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
Kyari 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 would 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,” the GMD said.
Good move for economic growth
Earlier, Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi, said that the project was a good move for economic growth of the nation.
Bello said that it would go a long way to solve energy challenge in country.
” I commend the President for this project and we look forward to the completion in the near future,” he said.
Also speaking, Sen. Bassey Akpan, Chairman Senate committee on petroleum Upstream said the AKK gas pipeline project remained key to economic growth of the nation.
Akpan said that the financing pattern of the project made it possible to come up immediately.
” I have confident in the effort of the NNPC and all partners. 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 oilserve as key player.
“it will create a lot of employment and development,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 40-inch x 614km AKk gas pipeline which would originate from Ajaokuta, in Kogi and traverse Abuja (FCT), Niger, Kaduna and terminate at Kano.