By Yetunde Bada
Greenville, an oil and gas company, is to invest $500 million in Nigeria’s gas sector.
Mr Eddy van den Broeke, Chairman of Greenville, said the investment would be in collaboration with NNPC/Total Joint Venture and Gas Aggregation Company of Nigeria.
Van den Broeke told journalists after the signing of the Gas Sales and Aggregation Agreement, GSAA deal at the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, NNPC headquarters, Abuja.
According to him, Greenville will invest in the first three mini Liquefied Natural Gas, LNG, plants in Africa.
“The big challenge today is that no bank is available to finance this investment because of the temporary problems that Nigeria is going through.
“We have taken the bold step in saying this country will come back in the next two or three years, with the revolution going on in the country and development of more agriculture.
”It will allow Nigeria to get back to a stronger financial position again.
‘’The investment is around $500 million in the first phase, and we will go up to about $850 million and completely on equity without any bank financing.
”We hope that in the second phase, as the minister has said today, more assistance will be given.
‘’Once the people see the investment and once the product comes to the market, automatically, there will be confidence and we have to build the confidence.”
The Managing Director/Chief Executive of TOTAL, Mr Nicolas Terraz, said the signing was ”a demonstration of our support to the Nigerian government’s objectives to develop local industrial capacities.
”This will encourage direct foreign investment; boost GDP in line with the President’s agenda on gas-based industrialisation,” he said.
He said the belief in the sector was that international oil companies did not like to invest in the downstream sector ”but today is a demonstration that it is not necessarily the case’’.
”We are committed. Our mission is not only to produce but also to supply gas to the people and the domestic market.
”Three years ago, a lot of people did not believe we will start this project and here we are, we will start in a month.
‘’We are where to support government expansion in its domestic gas market and we are committed to contribute to this expansion project. Investing in domestic gas market is possible.”
Mr. Morgan Okwoche, Managing Director of Gas Aggregation Company of Nigeria, said NNPC would supply 74 million of scf to Greenville from OML 58 in Rumuoji, Rivers.
”Greenville will transport the product with specialised LNG trucks, can travel 1,000 kilometres and will not damage the roads because it is not heavy.
”The agreement will boost embedded power generation in Nigeria because areas that cannot be reached by normal pipelines can be reached with the virtual pipelines.
”LNG fuelling stations will spring up along Nigerian highways and moribund industries will be revived,” he said.
Mr Dada Thomas, President, Nigeria Gas Association said the project was the first of its kind and transited to a modular mini LNG project.
”I am looking forward to more micro LNG projects, moving products from the Niger Delta to more consumers.
”If this happens, we will have a way of supplying power to stranded Nigerians and ensure employment to millions of youths,” he said. (NAN)