The Federal Government yesterday, said Final Investment Decisions (FIDs) will be taken on at least four key projects within the nation’s oil and gas industry by the end of last quarter this year.
Speaking at the ongoing 24th World Energy Congress (WEC) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipreye Sylva, hinted that the $2.8bn Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipeline, as well as refineries, would be part of the projects.
Stakeholders had expressed worry over delays on FIDs on most of the projects in the sector, stressing that the development would continue to affect revenue, industrialization, employment as well as the projected increase in the nation’s crude oil production and reserves.
The AKK pipeline, a 614km-long natural gas pipeline currently being developed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, is expected to be extended to Algeria in furtherance of African integration drive just like the West African Gas Pipeline, (WAGP), which may also be outstretched to Morocco.
In April last year, NNPC signed contracts for engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning and financing of the gas Pipeline with investors, stressing that the agreement which is 100 percent contractor-financing model was signed with a consortium of indigenous and Chinese companies.
Though the group had told journalists that arrangements were underway for the historic groundbreaking of the project, noting that the pipeline would be ready in 24 months beginning from April last year, the project has remained elusive 17 months after.
However, Sylva said the plan to take FIDs on the project and others was the need to bequeath a vibrant petroleum industry that would guarantee long term strategic investments and prosperity for Nigerians.
“My plan is to ensure that during my tenure, four Final Investment Decisions (FIDs) are taken. I am sure that within the next quarter, we should be able to conclude on some of these FIDs so as to grow the industry,” the Minister stated.
The Minister also highlighted gas development as part of government priority to fast track the industrialization drive of the country.
“As you are aware, we are focusing on the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipeline project which will address some of our power issues and encourage the setting up of local industries and businesses along with different areas in Nigeria.”
Sylva also shed more light on the imperative of rehabilitating the nation’s refineries, saying that it was unsustainable for Nigeria to continue to import petroleum products.
Sylva further stated that while private investment in the refining sector is encouraged, the Government should focus more on the repair of its existing refineries.
“People are talking about modular refineries, we know that modular refineries are part of the solution but they can only be part of the solution and not the solutions themselves. So, we are going to try to encourage modular refineries but before that, we are going to really focus on repairing the existing refineries to ensure that we are back on stream very shortly,” he added.