By Abdulaziz Salisu
In what was described as ‘Gas Revolution,’ following the renewed interactive engagements of the federal government with oil-producing communities in several states in the Niger Delta region, a plan to put in place a gas industrial park that is valued at about $20billion through a Public-Private Partnership model is now in process.
Tagged the Gas Revolution Industrial Park, GRIP, Ogidigben, and envisaged to be a regional hub for all gas-based industries, the project will cover 2,700 hectares with fertilizer, methanol, petrochemicals, & aluminium plants located in the park that has already been designated as a Tax Free Zone by the federal government.
Speaking on Monday at the Presidential Villa while meeting with international developers and investors of the project, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo stated that the Buhari administration “is committed to the development of the Niger Delta, and the importance of this project is underlined by the presidential attention it is attracting. The presidency is very interested.”
Before he went on vacation, President Muhammadu Buhari had mandated the Vice President to embark on visits to oil-producing communities to demonstrate the resolve of this administration to the pursuit of a new vision for the Niger Delta.
The building of an industrial gas hub in Ogidigben, Delta State was one of the feedbacks that was received during the visit to the state.
As a follow-up on the Niger Delta trips, Mr Osinbajo, alongside the minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Group Managing Director, Maikanti Baru, and other top government and NNPC officials met today with a group of international investors and developers put together under a consortium by Dubai-based firm, AGMC.
The consortium is made up of Fortune 500 companies like the GSE&C of South Korea, the China Development Bank, Power China and several others global operators from Asia and the United Arab Emirates in the Middle-East.
Under the plan presented Monday by the consortium to the acting president, about $20billion would be invested to develop the Gas Revolution Industrial Park, and generating 250,000 direct and indirect jobs in the process.
The industrial park would be a cluster for several industries in one location benefiting from an efficient, cost-competitive and abundant supply of natural gas, proximity to a deep sea port and centralized utilities, & services such as uninterrupted power, world class telecommunications and processed water.
The park, originally conceived by NNPC, is located about 60km from Warri, and is about 1km away from the operational base of Chevron Nigeria Limited. It will be connected to over 18 trillion Cubic Feet of gas reserves in fields such as Odidi, Okan, Forcados, located within a 50km radius. It is equally planned that the park will be connected to Nigeria’s most dominant gas pipeline network-ELPS, enabling supply of gas to and from the park.
According to the acting president “we already have a Steering Committee in place, chaired by the Honorable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and that shows the level of our commitment. We are unwavering.”
Continuing Mr Osinbajo added that “we take the project very seriously and glad to see you are committed and ready to make several other commitments. This is a process that we intend to see happen.”
In his own remarks, Mr Kachikwu expressed confidence that the GRIP will bring the much needed succor to the people of the Niger Delta, and the oil-producing states.
Speaking earlier the leader of the group of investors and developers, Sheikh Mohamed Bayorh, stated the commitment of the consortium, adding also that the project is important to solving the Niger Delta crisis.