By CHIKA IZUORA, Lagos –
Axxela Limited, an indigenous gas player, has spent a whopping N216 billion ($600 million) in the development of over 260 kilometres of gas pipeline infrastructure, virtual pipelines, and captive power plants in the country.
This is an indication that the opportunity presented by the Nigerian Gas Master Plan is beginning to attract the desired investments in the midstream subsector of the oil and gas industry.
The company, which is a pioneer developer of gas infrastructure and solutions across Southern Nigeria, is establishing new infrastructure network under its medium to long term to ensure gas supply security.
To further improve investments in the gas value chain to create job opportunities and monetise gas that is flared, Axxela is further developing virtual pipelines asset stable, gas processing infrastructure, long term appropriate infrastructure financing and expansion of last mile distribution infrastructure, with a particular focus on regional growth.
Speaking exclusively with LEADERSHIP, chief executive officer of the company, Bolaji Osunsanya, noted that the company initially started out as Gaslink, with its Lagos franchise, focusing on gas delivery across Mainland Lagos.
Osunsanya said, “We evolved to become Oando Gas and Power, the parent company of Gaslink, Central Horizon Gas Company, our joint venture (JV) subsidiary with the Rivers State government, which is completing an additional nine kilometres of pipeline infrastructure within the Trans-Amadi area as well as our Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) entity, Gas Network Services, which is our pioneering virtual pipeline initiative.
“We developed and divested from our captive power plants, as we focus on larger scale power projects”.
He said with a vibrant gas sector, Nigeria can achieve her immediate power generation aspirations, while in the long term socio-economic effects of constant power generation via gas include improved productivity, eradication of dirty fuels, reduced cost of living for Nigerians and the positive impact on the environment.
He added that natural gas could also be the catalyst required to spur Nigeria’s industrialization, as it is a critical feedstock for several industries such as fertilizer production and petrochemical industries.
He added that increased gas utilisation would mean rapid industrialisation leading to increased job creation, capacity building and technology advancement.
Osunsanya pointed out that it is in view of the company’s desire to support government industrialisation aspirations that Axxela is planning a mini liquefied natural gas plant in Ajaokuta to spur industrial development in the Northern part of the country.
According to him, the deficit of adequate processing and transportation/transmission facilities in terms of infrastructure has been well documented, just as the Nigerian Gas Master Plan is a great starting point.
Noting that its implementation must be more aggressive, he noted that private-public partnerships are increasingly significant to take full advantage of the gas build and output opportunities that abound in the domestic market.
He continued: “Entrusting international oil companies, IOCs or the federal government to develop the required gas infrastructure worked to an extent in the past. However, the public and private sector must now work hand-in-hand on present and future developments.
“For this reason, we recently completed a feasibility study in collaboration with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) for a proposed 510km EIIJ pipeline to run from Lagos all the way to Jebba.
“We are also looking at the possible development of an Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline. Our push into the Northern market will be quite aggressive as we look towards promoting power generation and industrialization, particularly in agriculture, in Northern and Middle Belt axis by innovatively replicating our existing gas franchise model located in the Southern part of the country.”
Read full interview on pages 50&51
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