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Energy

SEPLAT Group partners NNPC to build multi-billion naira gas plant in Imo State

SEPLAT Group has partnered with the NNPC to site a multi-billion naira gas plant in Imo state.

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SEPLAT Group has partnered with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to site a multi-billion naira gas plant at Asaa, Ohaji-Egbema Local Government Area of Imo state.

This is according to a disclosure by the Executive Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma, during the commissioning of the project.

READ: Ekeh, Zinox boss, intervenes in Imo State with N1 billion

Governor Uzodinma assured the residents that the recent development in their community will lead to massive employment of both unskilled and skilled workers, ensuring a win-win situation for all.

He further allayed fears of government neglect and possible collusion with oil companies to the detriment of the community

READ:  What banks might do to avoid getting crushed by Oil & Gas Loans

What you should know

According to the Managing Director of Seplat Group, Dr. A.B.C Ojiako, the joint project is a signature gas project executed 50% by SEPLAT Group and 50% by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) at Asaa, Ohaji/Egbema, Imo State.

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What they are saying 

Commenting on the recent development, the Governor said, “I was at the multi-billion Naira Gas Project sited at Asaa, Ohaji/Egbema, alongside the Seplat chairman, Dr. A.B.C Ojiako and his management team.

READ: Seplat commences $700 million gas plant construction

“I assured the people of Asaa community that my administration will stand as a referee to make sure that dev. is brought to the people by the Seplat Group. Gone are the days when Oil Companies collude with a few community leaders to exploit the rest of the host communities.

“The Imo State Government will not encourage a situation where oil companies doll out monies to the leaders of their host communities, but will ensure that developmental projects such as hospitals, good roads and schools are provided as part of the company’s community relations services.

READ: NNPC releases audited financial statements, refineries record losses of N154 billion

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“I informed the people that I have the assurances of the company to ensure that they employ both skilled and non-skilled workers in their company, however, urged the community to be a good host to the company in order to ensure a win-win situation for both parties.

“Furthermore, I commend the Managing Director, Seplat Group, Dr. A.B.C Ojiako, for his humanitarian efforts in bringing developments to the host community, the State, and the Country at large.”

Chidi Emenike is a graduate of economics, a Young African Leadership Initiative Fellow and an Investment Foundations certificate holder. He worked as a graduate Teaching Assistant in the Federal College of Education Kano and is also a trained National Peer Group Educator on Financial Inclusion

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Business News

FG to extend fuel subsidy for 6 months

Reports indicate that the FG plans to spend N720 billion for the next 6 months on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) subsidies.

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Subsidy and PIB, petrol price, PPPRA, We have sufficient PMS stock for 38 days- DPR 

The Nigerian Government may have suspended plans to end its subsidy payments as reports indicate that the FG plans to spend N720 billion for the next 6 months on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) subsidies.

This was disclosed in an exclusive report by The Guardian on Sunday, citing that President Muhammadu Buhari ordered that the subsidies remain in place for the next 6 months.

“Specifically, President Buhari has asked the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to suspend any idea on subsidy removal for five to six months so that a plan that does not harm ordinary Nigerians is evolved if the deregulation must go on,” a Government official said.

What you should know 

  • NNPC GMD, Mele Kyari disclosed last month that the “NNPC may no longer be in a position to carry that burden because we cannot continue to carry it in our books,” after reports of fuel imports under-recovery revealed the FG was spending N120 billion a month on subsidy.
  • Kyari also hinted that they may soon start selling PMS at market prices saying: “NNPC importing PMS at market price and selling at N162/L. The actual market price should be between N211 and N234/L. Meaning is that consumers are not paying the market price.
  • “NNPC is currently the sole importer of PMS, and we’re trying to exit the underpriced sale of PMS. Eventual exit is inevitable, when it will happen I cannot say, but engagements are ongoing because the government is cognisant of the implications.”

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Columnists

Why NNPC’s Borno power plant may not materialise 

The glaring security challenge cannot be overlooked in considering a major power plant project in Borno State.

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Only a few days ago, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, led a delegation to Borno State to meet with the Governor of the State, Babagana Zulum.

In the conversation with Zulum, Kyari promised the establishment of a gas-fired power plant in Borno State within a maximum of 4 months to solve the recent blackouts that resulted from insurgents cutting off Borno from the national grid since January this year.

In Kyari’s words, “We have talked to each other and we think it’s very possible to establish a dedicated power plant in Maiduguri which will serve current needs of power supply not only in Maiduguri but to other parts of the neighbouring cities.”

READ: NNPC GMD says AKK pipeline, Nigeria’s biggest gas project is 15% complete

Yet, there is a significant possibility that the power plant promised by Kyari may not materialize for many reasons, the first of which is security. In the meeting with Kyari, Governor Zulum had noted: “The ongoing insurgency has cut off the entire Borno from the national grid in the last three months. We put all our efforts and restored it back… but unfortunately, after 48 hours, the same group of insurgents went back and destroyed the main tower again.”

This glaring security challenge cannot be overlooked in considering a major power plant project in Borno State, particularly noting that the State and its surrounding communities have been the hot zone of insurgent and terrorist attacks by Boko Haram insurgents since 2009. Borno, Yobe and Adamawa have particularly been states where the insurgents have set up shop and carried out various activities, including kidnap, extermination of entire communities, burning of markets and religious buildings and the attack on the United Nations compound, in each case claiming tens or hundreds of innocent lives.

READ: Analysis: NNPC and its refining losses

One report reveals that at least 37, 500 people have been killed by the insurgent group since May 2011, a modest number, some say. Also, till date, some of the secondary school girls kidnapped in the April 2014 Chibok incident are yet to be returned to their families. It is then bewildering how Kyari intends to see to the construction and operationalizing of this gas power plant.

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Additionally, while the Minister of Petroleum for State, Chief Timipre Sylva, announced last year about the discovery of oil and gas deposits in the North, we have not seen any exploration and production kick-off. It then begs the question of where the gas for the Borno power plant intends to be sourced. The only gas pipeline that runs through the North – the AKK- is still in its first phase of construction out of three phases and has been earmarked at the earliest, to be completed in 2023 – not counting the typical delays the project will experience along the way.

READ: NNPC, only Nigerian company to cut losses by N800 billion in one financial year – GMD

Should the AKK by some stroke of luck materialize much earlier than the target date, the pipeline route is a considerable distance from Borno. It runs the route of Ajaokuta-Abuja-Katsina-Kano, its endpoint, a striking 481km from Borno State. Thus, there would have to be construction of a tie-in pipeline almost as long as the AKK from Kano to Borno State to get gas to Borno.

Optimists may reference the oil and gas discovery in the North and how production may start soon, thus obliterating the need for a 481km pipeline. This optimism however is not well-founded, as insecurity has been shown to be a major risk to oil and gas projects everywhere in the world. One of the major reasons the Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline proposed to run from Nigeria to Algeria was abandoned was due to security challenges posed by Nigeria’s Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), the Tuareg guerilla movement in Niger and other insurgent groups along the proposed route of the pipeline.

READ: Why NNPC should be commercialised

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These increased the risks across board, including for completion and operations through the lifecycle of the project. As such, failing to fix the security threats in northeast Nigeria makes any proposed gas plant project a pipe dream. Transporting gas via LNG trucks is not a better option, given that the drivers and their cargoes would be in danger of being kidnapped, shot at or bombed. The risks for both personnel and investors are high.

In any event, promising a power plant in 4 months for the people of Borno is unconscionable, since a typical gas power plant will take between 1 to 6 years to construct in relatively peaceful regions. What the government needs to do instead of making promises it cannot keep is to work arduously to fix the security challenges in Northern Nigeria and at the same time consider using decentralised solar power to provide power supply to homes, government institutions, schools and businesses while plans to produce gas in the region or transport gas to it are underway.

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