The Federal Government’s aspiration to boost domestic utilisation of gas in Nigeria will receive a boost tomorrow as President Muhammadu Buhari performs the Flag-off of the construction of the 40-inch x 614km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) Gas Pipeline project.
The project, expected to be completed within a 24-month timeline, is a section of the Trans-Nigeria Gas Pipeline (TNGP) with capacity to transport about 2.2billion cubic feet of gas per day.
A release by Dr. Kennie Obateru, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), explained that the Presidential Flag-off would be performed virtually from the Aso Rock Villa in Abuja with simultaneous link to two locations: Rigachukun, Kaduna State and Ajaokuta Steel Complex, in Kogi State.
The release stated that the economic benefits of the AKK pipeline which would originate from Ajaokuta, in Kogi State and traverse Abuja (FCT), Niger, Kaduna and terminate at Kano, would boost domestic utilization of natural gas for Nigeria’s social economic development, when completed.
It would also unlock 2.2billion cubic feet of gas to the domestic market, support the addition of 3,600mega watts of power to the national grid and revitalize textile industries which alone boasts of over 3million jobs in parts of the country.
The release added that the AKK project would support the development of Petrochemicals, fertilizer, methanol and other gas-based industries thereby generating employment opportunities and facilitating Balanced Economic Growth.
The NNPC explained that the Right of Way for the proposed AKK gas pipeline would run parallel to the existing Nigerian Pipelines and Storage Company’s 16 inch-crude oil and 12 inch- product pipelines wherever possible.
The corporation said the pipeline would be fed from the existing domestic Infrastructure with a capacity of over 1.5billion cubic feet per day and is being expanded by Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System II (ELPS II) and Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben (OB3) gas pipeline (under construction) that will double the capacity to over 3billion cubic gas per day.
Conceptualized as an integral part of the Nigerian Gas Master Plan (NGMC), a gas infrastructure blueprint, which was approved by the Federal Executive Council in 2008, the AKK has received serious attention of the Buhari Administration leading to the award of the Engineering Procurement and Construction Contract (EPC) of the project by the Federal Executive Council in 2017.
Within the last 12 months the project received extra fillip from the current NNPC leadership led by Mallam Mele Kyari, which deftly removed the impediments that have stalled the project over the years leading to the flag-off ceremony tomorrow.
The AKK is ultimately designed to complement other major domestic gas transmission systems namely: the Western System, that is, the existing 36-inch Escravos-Lagos Pipeline I and II with 2.2billion cubic feet per day capacity and the On-going East-West connection via the OB3 pipeline featuring 2.4billion cubic feet per day capacity.