Make me your Homepage
left corner left corner
China Daily Website

Gas fuels GDP growth

Updated: 2013-12-02 07:25
( China Daily)

Vast oil and gas reserves are the driving forces for Nigeria's future economic, social progress

Although Nigeria's socioeconomic development has accelerated in recent years, one inhibiting factor is the outdated power and energy sector that struggles to generate sufficient energy for business and residential premises.

This weakness in power generation and distribution infrastructure is being rectified with the help of foreign partners like China. Indeed, in September this year, the Nigerian government reached a favorable funding arrangement with the Export-Import Bank of China for the $1.3 billion 700 Mega Watts Zungeru hydroelectric power plant.

"We are committed to turning Nigeria's power sector into a success story," said former minister of State for power, Hajiya Zainab Ibrahim-Kuchi. The largest power-generating station in Nigeria with an installed capacity of 1320MW, Egbin Electric Power Plc is controlled by the State-owned Power Holding Company of Nigeria Plc.

With a mission to innovate, motivate and generate reliable and cost effective power, the company is striving to provide a regular and uninterrupted supply of electricity to millions and is keen to partner with Chinese investors for infrastructure development and the sharing of skills and knowledge.

"Given the limited amount of investment that we have and the very low power capacity, we can only grow. We are at very low levels. There is room for foreign investors and for Chinese investors," said Egbin Electric Power Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mike Uzoigwe.

"There are challenges, but those who have the guts to start now will be the masters in the future. I invite Chinese investors to look beyond the challenges and tap into our potential. Just look at the telecoms sector, which is now one of the most profitable after its privatization a few years ago. The same thing will happen in the power industry. Nigeria is a huge market opportunity; the country is about to explode in terms of potential. We have some hurdles, but privatization will bring positive changes. There will be power and gas purchase agreements and as power becomes more stable and more available, the big companies and investors will come back to Nigeria."

Gas fuels GDP growth

The National Power Training Institute of Nigeria was established in 2009 with the goal of providing training for power sector personnel and coordinating training activities in the sector through knowledge sharing.

An integral part of the power sector, mandated with training skilled and competent workers to boost the industry, NAPTIN boasts world-class standards of operations and has a memorandum of understanding with a Chinese company.

"Addressing these technical and managerial human capital requirements needed to drive the power sector can only be achieved through a structured learning and capacity building process. Learning in itself cannot be achieved without training," said NAPTIN Director General, Reuben O. Okeke.

With a focus on continued strategic growth in sub-Saharan Africa, South Atlantic Petroleum is a leading figure in Nigeria's upstream oil and gas industry through a balanced portfolio of assets that provide a strong platform for growth.

In 1998, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources awarded the Oil Prospecting License 246 to the indigenous Nigerian oil and gas exploration and production company. Exploration drilling commenced in 1999, leading to the discovery of the Akpo condensate (oil) field in 2000. Several other fields - Egina Main, Egina South, Preowei and Kuro were subsequently discovered.

In 2005, 50 percent of the OPL was converted to an Oil Mining Lease to cover Akpo, Egina Main, Egina South and Preowei fields.

The Akpo oil and gas field has produced more than 200 million barrels of oil and the block's second multi-billion dollar deep water project, Egina, is expected to come on-stream in 2017. In June 2006, SAPETRO divested part of its contractor rights and obligations to China National Offshore Oil Corporation.

As Martin Trachsel, CEO of the company, said: "SAPETRO, as a partner of major international oil companies, is committed to guaranteeing not only the best technical and operational practices, but also the best environmental and safety practices.

"It's important to build and maintain strong partnerships. It's been important for us to have the support of the major oil players and working with SAPETRO as their local partner has been added value for them.

"We have an excellent partnership with CNOOC and we work very closely together.

"China has a huge role to play in Nigeria, not only in the upstream oil and gas sector, but also, for instance, in the industrial and agrochemical sector.

Gas fuels GDP growth

"We would certainly welcome further partnerships with Chinese firms, not only in Nigeria, but also elsewhere on the continent, for instance in the Mozambique Channel, where our acreage is 25 times larger than our Nigerian concession with potential for billion-barrel discoveries."

Incorporated 20 years ago, Damagix Group has grown into Nigeria's leading indigenous supplier of pipes to the oil and gas industry through its focus on the three "Cs": customers, competition and change. Managed by a team of professionals with more than six decades of industry experience, Damagix stocks supplies of all sizes and grades of casings, tubings and line pipes and offers engineering and consultancy services. Its expansion plans include the construction of state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities. Chairman and CEO, Dahiru Mohammed, said: "We are the most experienced pipes supplier in the oil and gas sector. I want Damagix to supply the entire African continent and am also looking at projects in other countries."

InFocus provided the story

(China Daily 12/02/2013 page6)