A 100-tonne Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG plant constructed by the Buterny Energy Company was inaugurated on Saturday in Katsina.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylvia, during the launch said the plant was coming at the time several projects that would address gas availability, accessibility and affordability in the country were being put in place.
Mr Sylvia, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Sani Gwarzo, added that the pricing of gas was currently a major threat to the availability and affordability of the fuel in Nigeria.
“The Federal Government was leveraging the gas pricing framework and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) gas development fund to create an appropriate funding model to support off-take of the gas, especially among vulnerable groups.
“I cannot complete this speech without touching on pricing which is a major threat to gas affordability and gas penetration.
“It is, therefore, expected that the economy of Katsina State and indeed the North-West and the whole of Nigeria will benefit from socio-economic spin ups associated with the gas value chain,” he said.
The minister added that smaller countries with less gas reserves than Nigeria such as Kuwait have higher per capita consumption of gas due to their investment in gas infrastructure.
He urged Butane Energy to make their plant a role model of LPG depots by deploying technology to drive market penetration, creation of financial instruments to incentivize off-take of its bottled gas.
“And also investment in human capital development to attract and retain a resilient workforce and operation in a globally acceptable and responsible manner,” he said.
Butane Energy chair, Isah Inuwa, said the aspiration of the company under the first phase of investment programme was to have five plants in the Northern Nigeria.
“Kano will have 180 metric tons, in Bauchi, 120 metric tons, in Abuja, 180 metric tons and in Kaduna, 180 metric tons.
“Today, we have finished the designs of Kaduna and Bauchi plants and by God’s grace, we are going through the contracting processes between December and January, and it is our hope that before the end of January, construction work will start.
“By April, we will start Kano and Bauchi plants with a combined tonnage of 360.
“Our expectation is that by September 2022, we will have completed five plants with a total capacity of 820 metric tons and we will have the capacity to process 9,200 12.5kg cylinders per eight hour shift per day.
“We would have invested nearly N3 billion by the end of the first phase of our development programme. We expect annual gross revenue of these five plants to be more than N20 billion.”
Also in his remarks, Gov. Aminu Masari, who inaugurated the plant, said there was need for a lot of sensitisation for people to understand that gas is cheaper and cleaner energy to use.
He called on stakeholders to devise means of making the initial purchase of gas facilities such as the cylinder and the hose affordable.
He promised all investors that were willing to invest in the state of his administration’s support.