Amidst the global pandemic, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari alongside other Government officials ‘virtually’ flagged off the landmark construction of the 614km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kane gas pipeline project from the State House, Abuja, on Tuesday, June 30 to the delight of Nigerians.
The AKK Pipeline Project, championed by two consortia comprising select indigenous and international companies, commenced in 2013 with the announcement for tenders by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). On April 19, 2018, following an extensive due diligence and bid process, a two party consortium consisting of Oilserv Limited and Oando PLC (Oilserv-Oando PLC consortium) was awarded the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) mandate for segment 1, accounting for 40” by 303.4km linear pipeline system for the Ajaokuta to Kaduna portion of the AKK Pipeline Project by the NNPC.
The AKK Pipeline Project which will originate from Ajaokuta in Kogi state, traversing Abuja, Niger, Kaduna states, finally terminating in Kano state is the largest gas pipeline project in Nigeria’s history. The project, expected to be completed within a 24-month timeline, is a 614km section of the Trans-Nigeria Gas Pipeline (TNGP) with the capacity to transport about 2.2billion cubic feet of gas per day. It will boost domestic utilization of natural gas for Nigeria’s social economic development when completed.
The project will support the addition of 3,600 megawatts of power to the national grid and connect energy demand from the Northern part of Nigeria with supply from the South thereby enabling power-starved communities across the Northern region to have greater access to electricity. In addition, it will provide stranded commercial and industrial customers with a cleaner, more efficient source of self-generated energy. The project will enhance uptime at industrial clusters, enabling heavy duty plants in Northern parts of the country to return to internationally competitive operations. Furthermore, it will significantly curb gas flaring in the Niger Delta and guarantee better air quality in the oil producing region whilst preserving the ecosystem.
Commenting on the AKK Pipeline Project, the Group Chief Executive, Oando PLC, Jubril Adewale Tinubu, said: “As a proudly Nigerian company, focused on driving indigenous participation we have always been proponents of public private partnership in accelerating the actualization of the nation’s goals. We have aspired to play an integral role in the building out of the National Gas Infrastructure and Pipeline Grid, as evidenced by our efforts in 2009, post the Nigerian Gas Masterplan when we participated in the unrealized Calabar- Ajaokuta- Abuja-Kano (CAAK) line. We have developed strategic partnerships with both private sector players and the NNPC in bringing sustainable solutions to spur the development of the country via our numerous gas development and distribution projects. We commend the NNPC for spearheading projects that will soften the headwinds occasioned by the global COVID-19 pandemic. We are proud to be active participants in driving the country’s industrialization and actualization of the Gas Master Plan which will undoubtedly create employment opportunities and ultimately generate as well as enhance value for the nation.”
Oando has a corporate history of many firsts and successes in the gas and power sector. The Company was the first private sector player to enter gas distribution in Nigeria and pioneered gas distribution in the Greater Lagos area with the aim of spurring industrialization. With over 280km in gas pipeline infrastructure built, the Company has also been able to provide unique energy solutions through its erstwhile subsidiaries; Gaslink Nigeria Limited whose gas pipeline network spans Ijora through Lagos Island’s Marina axis; The East Horizon Group Company which operates a natural gas transmission and distribution pipeline traversing Akwa Ibom and Cross River States; The Central Horizon Group Company, focused on the rehabilitation, operation and expansion of the existing natural gas distribution network in the Greater Port Harcourt City and Trans-Amadi area amongst others.
Speaking on the project, Oilserv said in a statement; “The project, according to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), will significantly curb gas flaring in the Niger Delta and guarantee better air quality in the oil producing region. Furthermore, the pipeline, which was conceived to connect demand from the northern part of the country with supply from the south, would be the biggest infrastructure development in the country’s recent history. It will also mark a significant shift in the nation’s energy policy; from revenue, targeted export programmes to development focused domestic supply programmes.”
Malam Mele Kyari, NNPC Group Managing Director, who participated in the flag off ceremony said; “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. 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.”
Reiterating the importance of the project, the President noted that the project would facilitate the development of new industries and also revive moribund industries in the north, foster the development and utilization of local skills and man power, promote technology transfer, local manufacturing as well as create balanced development and further integrate Nigeria.
He concluded his speech by challenging the private sector to lead in maximizing the country’s gas resources to create a petrochemical hub that will resurrect not only the manufacturing capacity but place the country squarely on the part to increase self-sufficiency.