President Muhammadu Buhari has flagged-off the $2.592 billion Abuja-Kaduna- Kano (AKK) gas pipeline project.
The President, who virtually flagged off the project yesterday, said the gas pipeline, when completed, would help industrialize and energize the entrepreneurial spirit of the people.
The 614-kilometer gas pipeline project is expected to add 2.2bscf/d of gas into the nation’s domestic market and facilitate the generation of another 3,600 megawatts of electricity in the country. Buhari affirmed the government’s commitment to ensure timely delivery of the landmark gas pipeline project within budgetary allocation and specifications.
Governors Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and Nasir el- Rufai of Kaduna physically flagged off the commencement of works at Ajaokuta and Rigachikun sites, while the President watched remotely via video-conference from the Council Chamber in Abuja. President Buhari said the project was very dear to the people of Nigeria and must succeed.
He, therefore, directed the NNPC and partners to remain focused, noting that the AKK project was part of the delivery of the present administration’s Next Level Agenda for sustainable development, enhancement of economic prosperity and increase of the country’s infrastructure assets. Buhari said: “We promised the nation that we will expand the critical gas infrastructure in the country to promote the use of gas in the domestic market.
“These include the Escravos to Lagos Pipeline System- 2 (ELPS-2), Obiafu to Obrikom (OB3) pipeline and AKK.
“These projects are fundamental to our desire to industrialize and energize the entrepreneurial spirit that is ever present in our population.” Enumerating the benefits of the project billed to be completed in two years, the President said it will provide gas for generation of power and for gas-based industries which would facilitate the development of new industries.
“It will also ensure the revival of moribund industries along transit towns in Kogi State, Abuja (FCT), Niger, Kaduna and Kano states,” he said, adding that the cascading effect and impact of the AKK, when operational, will be immeasurable. His words: “It has significant job creation potential both direct and indirect, while fostering the development and utilization of local skills and manpower, technology transfer and promotion of local manufacturing.”
The President commended the Government of the People’s Republic of China; the financiers – the Bank of China and SINOSURE; and the two EPC Contractors (Brentex/ China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau-CPP Consortia and Oilserve/China First Highway Engineering Company- CFHEC Consortia) for their support to deliver the important project. In his remarks, Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, explained that the AKK gas pipeline project, which was part of the Trans-Nigeria gas pipeline project, involved the establishment of a connecting gas pipeline network that will integrate the Northern region of the country with the Niger Delta, Eastern and Western regions of the country. He said the EPC contract for the 614km AKK gas pipeline project was awarded at a total contract sum of $2.592 billion to Messrs. Oilserv Plc/China First Highway Engineering Company (Oilserv/CFHEC Consortium) for the first segment covering 303km. According to Kyari, Messrs. Brentex Petroleum Services/China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau (Brentex/ CPP Consortium) got the contract for the second segment covering 311km under a debt-equity financing model with loan from Bank of China and SINOSURE, to be repaid through the pipeline transmission tariff and supported by a sovereign guarantee.
“We are confident that the EPC contractors will deliver the project on time, within budget and to quality/ specifications,” he said. Kyari added that upon completion, the project would enable the injection of 2.2bscf/d of gas into the domestic market and facilitate additional power generation capacity of 3,600MW.