In furtherance of its commitment to boosting gas processing in the country, Nigeria is set to construct the first and largest gas industrial park in Africa, Petroleum Resources Minister, Diezani Allison-Madueke Monday disclosed.
According to the minister, the West African country plans to build the first and largest gas industrial park in Africa.
Allison-Madueke made this known in Abuja, the capital of Africa’s largest economy, at the opening of a three-day Gas Resources Conference and Exhibition organized by Nigeria’s Senate Committee on Gas.
The park, which would be located in Delta State, Southern Nigeria, would comprise industries that would produce items such as methanol, fertilizers, petrochemicals and other related products.
“As part of our infrastructure blueprint, we have entrenched the concept of gas processing facilities, with a view to extracting the various constituents of natural gas such as the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and ethanol, among others,” said Allison-Madueke, who was represented by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC) Group Managing Director, Mr. Andrew Yakubu.
According to her, when this is done, the availability of LPG for use domestically will increase and the ethane to be gotten from the extraction process can be used to help petrochemical industries grow. Also, the residue gas could then be used as raw material for methanol, fertilizer, etc.
The minister noted that past administrations had focused on crude oil, failing to explore gas production, which was then treated as a useless by-product of oil production. This she said made gas pricing low as it was made “deliberately” so because government saw it as a quick way to dispose an unwanted product.
Now, in compliance with global best practices, “Nigeria has planned to ensure that gas exploration becomes the hub of the country’s economic activities as it is the case in other countries.”
Allison-Madueke acknowledged gas’ capacity to transform an economy, using countries like Russia, which supplies gas to a larger part of Europe and Qatar, with the highest GDP in the world as examples.
With the improvement of infrastructure witnessed in the past three years, the minister said investors’ confidence in Nigeria’s Natural Gas sector has improved.
It is expected that the new route taken by Nigeria’s oil and gas industry will foster economic growth in the country as it brings a new stream of revenue for the government.