The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has announced plans to construct three power plants to generate about 4,600 megawatts in the northern part of the country.
The power plants, to be located in Abuja, Kaduna and Kano, would rely on gas supplies from the proposed Ajaokuta-Abuja-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) Gas Pipeline project.
The tender for the award of contract for the pipeline was two weeks ago presented to the Executive Council of the Federation (FEC) for approval.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, who made the presentation to FEC, had said the pipeline would allow holistic movement of gas from the southern corridors to the northern hinterlands for increased gas utilization and power generation.
“We presently have trapped power, trapped gas, all in the southern corridors that is going nowhere because of lack of infrastructure,” he said.
Mr. Kachikwu said about 364 million cubic meters of additional gas produced through the Niger Delta would be fed into the AKK pipeline through the Odidi Pipeline Project from Warri and the Southern marshlands of the region.
On Tuesday, NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Maikanti Baru, told the Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, who was on a visit to NNPC in Abuja, that the power plant projects would be in partnership with private investors.
“As part of the drive to establish power plants to augment the power supply to the country, the Federal Executive Council, FEC, recently approved the AKK Gas Pipeline project to be financed through public-private partnership, PPP,” Mr. Baru said.
“The project comes with other auxiliary ones, including power generation plants in Abuja, Kaduna and Kano, with 1,350mw, 900mwand 2,350mw capacity respectively,” he added.
The GMD said the NNPC, in partnership with private investors, would also build fertilizer plants in some parts of the country, one of which would be located at Izzon, Niger State.
Mr. Baru told the governor that in line with the presidential mandate on oil exploration in all the frontier basins in the country, NNPC was focused on continuing its exploration programme in the Bida Basin.
“We have contracted the geological mapping of the Bida Basin to Ibrahim Babangida University, Lapai and the job would be completed in three months,” the NNPC boss stated.
“Once the geological mapping is completed, the NNPC’s Integrated Data Services Limited (IDSL) would be engaged to carry out the other aspects of the seismic activities, to be completed by July 2018,” he said.
Mr. Baru said apart from going into more detailed 2D seismic data acquisition in the Bida Basin by August 2018, the corporation would follow up with an Environmental Impact Assessment, EIA, exercise, to establish the baseline, which would signify the need or otherwise for the deployment of 3D acquisition facilities.
To decongest the country’s highways, the GMD said the NNPC would encourage private investors to build tanker parking facilities around Minna Depot, Suleja Depot, Tegina, Mokwa, among others, and charge the users of the facility appropriately.
Mr. Baru explained that talks were currently ongoing with the Federal Ministry of Works, Power and Housing to re-introduce weight bridges on the highways to check loading by tankers above the recommended 46,000 tons gross weight.
On its part, he said the NNPC had already directed all its petroleum products depots nationwide to stop loading tankers with loading capacity above 40,000 litres.
Responding, Governor Bello said his team was at NNPC to get first-hand information on its plans on oil exploration in the Bida Basin and to also solicit the corporation’s support for finding alternative parking space for tankers along the highways and communities in the state.