With the kick-off of the construction of a number of gas projects, particularly some major pipelines, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), said it will deliver about 5GW or 5,000 megawatts power by 2022.
Since the privatization of the power sector in 2013, Nigeria has struggled to achieve sustainable electricity supply, but has been frustrated by the shortage of gas to power the plants as well as slowing the nation’s industrialisation and gas monetisation drive.
NNPC hinted that the new generation capacity would be boosted by additional 5 billion cubic feet of gas daily by 2022, while also exploring partnerships for transmission and investments to enhance evacuation and power improvement.
This was made known at a webinar, Tuesday, where stakeholders, who gathered for the Nigeria International Pipeline Technology & Security (NIPITECS), strategized on ways of reducing cost in the industry, insisting that the development of pipelines is critical to harnessing the nation’s oil and gas resources.
NNPC’s Chief Operating Officer, Gas and Power, Yusuf Usman, said during the webinar that with the expected delivery of NLNG Train 7 by 2024, the Federal Government is working on the completion and inauguration of the Escravos–Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) I, and B3 gas pipelines to ensure connectivity between the Eastern and Western parts of Nigeria.
Usman also noted that the construction of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano, and two other gas pipelines, will ensure gas availability in the Northern part of Nigeria and interconnectivity within the East. He said some midstream processing facilities like the ANOH Gas Plant will guarantee gas supply to the domestic market, as the country pursues the actualization of the Seven Critical Gas Development Projects (7CGDP), to deepen the penetration of its gas resources, notably, LPG, CNG and virtual LNG in-country.
According to him, the country would also secure and market the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Ltd. (NPDC) joint venture portion and Production Sharing Contract (PSC) gas volumes, while pursuing the development of gas-based industries like the Brass Fertilizer project.
Usman further said NNPC is looking to engage the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), and generation companies (GENCоs), to execute partnership agreement or framework for expanding the nation’s transmission network Stressing the need to unlock power plants both existing and new, he said Nigeria would focus more on the regional market through the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP), Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline, among others.
Noting that about half of Nigeria’s population live in rural areas that could not be economically supplied with gas via conventional gas pipeline, Usman raised the hope for virtual supply using mini-LNG/CNG trucks to supply gas to remote demand centres.
According to him, the move would stimulate socio-economic development, lower government import bills on white products, and promote sustainable energy and indigenous energy resource to power the economy.
Also speaking, the Group Chairman of Oilserv, Emeka Okwousa, said except Nigeria focuses on expanding pipeline networks, especially with financing models that won’t put pressure on the government, driving the needed investment for exploration of hydrocarbon resources may remain unattainable.
While noting that there is insufficient pipeline infrastructure to support the domestic gas market aspiration in Nigeria, Okwousa insisted that “pipeline infrastructure deficit is a key disincentive to FID for upstream gas.”
He said while Nigeria holds the 11th largest oil reserves as at 2019, and the ninth largest natural gas reserves, there was a need for investment in the sector, as exploration of gas fields are mostly associated gas. He said security of the pipelines remain critical, adding that just like the AKK pipeline where Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) is being deployed to monitor the pipelines, there was the need to create awareness on the nature of gas as well as engaging local communities to protect the assets.
Chairman of Pipelines Professionals Association of Nigeria (PLAN), Geoff Onuoha, noted that pipelines remained critical assets to the nation.
Onuoha said pipeline development has become more critical to Nigeria going by the current push for gas development, while urging a cost effective approach to building and maintaining pipelines. He added that local participation, innovation, environmental and social dimensions are critical considerations the country must prioritise in developing the infrastructure.