By Edith Ike-Eboh
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it will grow the domestic gas use in the country to five billion cubic feet of gas per day from its current 1.7 billion cubic feet of gas per day by 2022.
Chief Operating Officer, Gas and Power, Mr Yusuf Usman, made this known while delivering a paper at the Nigeria International Pipeline Technology and Security Conference in Abuja on Thursday.
A statement by Mr Ndu Ughamadu, the spokesman for the corporation, said Usman paper dwelt on “Strategies for Ensuring Infrastructural Growth for a Robust Gas Industry and Utilization”.
He explained that domestic gas demand was expected to grow to 7.4 billion cubic feet of gas per day by 2027.
“Based on all current known domestic gas supply projects, domestic gas supply is forecast to close the demand by 2021 as we have identified Seven Critical Gas Development Projects (7CGDP) currently being fast tracked to bridge the foreseen supply gap by 2021,” he said
Usman added that the completion of the three major domestic gas transmission systems would add 6.8 billion cubic feet of gas per day capacity.
He added that the 36-inch Escravos to Lagos Pipelines (ELPS) 1 and 2 with 2.2 billion cubic feet per day capacity would be completed by the end of the year.
He said the ongoing East to West connection via the 48-inch Obiafu Obrikom to Oben pipeline (OB3) with 2.4 billion cubic feet per day capacity would be completed by March 2020.
He also said that the 40-inch Ajaokuta, Kaduna to Kano (AKK) gas pipeline with 2.2billion cubic feet per day capacity would be completed by the end of 2022.
Usman said that the AKK, when completed, would unlock 2.2billion cubic feet per day capacity natural gas for the domestic market.
He pointed out that it would also add 3,600 megawatts of power to the national grid, revitalize over 232 industries and create over one million jobs.
“AKK wiIl also support the development of petrochemicals, fertilizer, methanol and other gas based industries that would generate more employment opportunities and facilitate balanced economic growth,” he said.
He added that the NNPC was also putting measures in place to develop 5 gigawatts of power generation by 2022 as part of efforts to support the current Federal Government aspiration to bridge the power deficit in the country.
Commenting on the strategy to developing gas infrastructure, he said the corporation had adopted the project financing scheme for AKK and other gas projects in order to meet the timelines.
He explained that the incorporated joint venture funding model was being adopted for the Assa North-Ohaji South (ANOH) project, describing the model as bankable and capable of boosting Nigeria’s domestic gas supply significantly.
Usman said meeting the gas infrastructure blueprint was, however, challenged by funding, project slippages, security concerns and rising debt from gas off-takers, limiting expansion of the network.
He noted that despite the challenges, natural gas remained a big catalyst for development and industrial growth, attributing it to the potential of making Nigeria a regional hub for gas based industries.
The two-day conference was organized by the Pipelines Professional Association of Nigeria (PLAN) and attracted participants from across the globe.