The operator and financier of the Uquo Joint Venture which handles the Uquo gas processing facility have said the country needs to develop its huge gas potential to drive the the economy, especially in the areas of manufacturing and power supply.
The Uquo JV is currently supplying gas for the generation of 750 megawatts of electricity at the Ibom Power station and the Calabar NIPP power station when fully operational.
This is a Joint Venture between Frontier Oil Limited (the operators) and Seven Exploration and Production Limited (the financier) , and the official opening of the Uquo Gas Processing Facility in Eket, Akwa Ibom State had been done by President Goodluck Jonathan.
The Managing Director, Frontier Oil, Mr. Dada Thomas, in a statement, said more investors were needed in the gas business considering the huge market for the product in the country.
According to him, liberalisation of the Nigerian gas market will not only make the product available, but will also build confidence among potential bankers and lenders to commit funds to gas projects with the assurance that their money will be realised.
Thomas maintained that there was the need to develop the country’s gas distribution infrastructure so that gas could easily be moved from locations of availability to locations of need.
“Liberalisation of this market will encourage more investors to come in; and when they come in, the issue of gas infrastructure will, to a large extent, be addressed; and the Nigerian economy will be good for it,” the Frontier Oil boss said.
With Trains 1 and 2 of the Uquo Gas Processing Facility fully operational, and the connecting pipeline to Calabar is inaugurated, gas supply to the Akwa Ibom-owned power plant, the Ibom Power Company, will commence.
According to the Uquo Joint Venture Partners, the gas facility is one of the biggest projects of its nature undertaken by independent indigenous partners in sub-Saharan Africa. The Uquo JV has inaugurated the Train 2 of the Uquo Gas Processing Facility in readiness for the supply of 131 MMscfd of gas to the Calabar NIPP power station in quarter four of 2014.
“With Trains 1 and 2 of the Uquo Gas Processing Facility fully operational and once the connecting pipeline to Calabar is inaugurated, the Joint Venture will be supplying gas for the generation of 750 megawatts of electricity at the Ibom Power station and the Calabar NIPP power station, equivalent to some 10 per cent of Nigeria’s generating capacity,” Thomas said in the statement.
He recalled that the Uquo Field was one of the 24 marginal fields that were awarded to indigenous companies by the Department of Petroleum Resources in 2003 as part of the Federal Government’s Marginal Field Programme, aimed at increasing reserves, production, employment, local content and indigenous participation in the upstream oil and gas business.
The Chief Executive Officer of Seven Energy, Mr. Philip Ihenacho, said the JV partner that provided the technical services and 100 per cent of the funding for the gas facility, explained that the gas delivery plan was designed in a way that would ensure the safety of communities located along the pipeline routes.
He said, “The introduction of high pressure gas into the Uquo Gas Processing Facility and the pipelines has been accompanied by a focused education programme along the pipeline’s Right of Way to ensure the safety of the communities located along the pipeline right of way for the safety, security and continuity of supply to Ibom Power Company.”
He noted that the project would boost power generation in the country and generate employment for Nigerians.