The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it has made significant progress in negotiating the funding terms and payback structure for the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline project.
The corporation disclosed this in a statement signed by its spokesman, Mr Ndu Ughamadu, in Abuja, on Wednesday.
It said the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru, made the disclosure at the Nigeria Day during the 30th edition of Gas Technology Conference in Barcelona, Spain.
Baru was represented by the Chief Operating Officer, Gas & Power of the NNPC, Saidu Mohammed.
Baru in the statement said that the corporation was on the verge of wrapping up its funding arrangements for the AKK gas pipeline project.
He added that tremendous progress was recorded towards securing funding for the project during the last visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Beijing, China.
“The corporation has gone far in negotiating the terms of funding as well as the best payback structure for the project.
“The financial partners were willing to collaborate with the corporation on the matter.
“The AKK gas pipeline is designed to enable gas connectivity between the East, West and North, which is currently inadequate.
” It would also enable gas supply and utilization to key commercial centres in the Northern corridor of Nigeria with the attendant positive spin-off on power generation and industrial growth.” he said.
Baru disclosed that the ground-breaking ceremony for the project was near, adding that Nigeria was focused on expanding its critical gas infrastructure to cover the entire country.
“Once you have the whole nation covered with a gas grid, industries will naturally spring up along the way and litter the entire country. That is our target in the long run,” he noted.
He described the coming of Train 7 of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, as a ‘big bang’ that would usher in new developments for Nigeria’s energy sector and expand the nation’s economy.
He added that the project was also capable of unlocking new vistas for the country’s LNG potentials.
Baru, who said the corporation had looked forward to Final Investment Decision (FID) on Train 7 in the last ten years, revealed that the wait would soon be over.
He commended the Federal Government and the various shareholders for their support towards the NLNG project.
According to him, Nigeria is looking outward with its gas resources “because God has blessed the country with abundant reserves.
“We cannot consume our gas resources in the next 50 years, even if we generate as high as 40,000 megawatts (MW) for power.
“We are happy that the NLNG is a credible company capable of competing in the international arena.”
Baru stressed that Nigeria was looking at other ways of marketing its enormous gas resources such as the establishment of a gas hub to facilitate establishment of fertilizer, petrochemical and other gas-based industries in the Niger Delta and across the entire country.
Also, Managing Director of NLNG, Mr Tony Attah described Train 7 as the next big thing not only in Nigeria’s gas industry, but also in the global gas arena.
He stated that the company had made tremendous progress on Train 7, assuring that all the shareholders remained committed to supplying gas feed stock for the project.
“We are here at Gastech to assure the world that this time around, we mean business, and with the support from Government and our shareholders, Train 7 will be a success,” Attah said.