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The Pipeline which originates from Ajaokuta, in Kogi State would traverse Abuja (FCT), Niger, Kaduna and terminate at Kano. It is expected to be fed from the existing domestic Infrastructure with a capacity of over 1.5 billion cubic feet, daily, Bcf/d and is being expanded by Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System II (ELPS II) and Obiafu-Obrikom 3 (OB3) gas pipeline (under construction) that will double the capacity to over 3 billion cubic gas per day The proposed Ajaokuta – Abuja – Kaduna – Kano Gas Pipeline is a section of the Trans-Nigeria Gas Pipeline (“TNGP”) with a capacity to transport about 2.2 Bcf/d of gas.

The right of way for the proposed AKK gas pipeline is planned to run parallel to the existing NPSC 16’’ crude oil and 12’’ product pipelines wherever possible. The Project will also facilitate the development of three (3) base independent power plants (IPPs) in Abuja (1350MW), Kaduna (900MW) and Kano (1350MW) and steer the development of gas based industries along its corridor and beyond. Federal Executive Council awarded the Engineering Procurement and Construction Contract (EPC) in favour of Oilserv Plc Consortium & CFHEC for lot1, while Brentex Petroleum Services and China Pipeline Bureau (Brentex-CPP) got lot2 The project is on build-and-transfer-basis (BT) with a completion period of 24 months and defect liability period of 12months.

The Scope of Work includes Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Installation, Testing and Commissioning of a 40” x 614km class 600# pipeline system from Ajaokuta to Kano with associated intermediate and terminal facilities to supply natural gas to off-takers at Abuja, Kaduna, Kano and Zaria environs and along the environs of the pipeline route. The right of way for the proposed AKK gas pipeline is planned to run parallel to the existing Nigerian Pipelines and Storage Company’s 16 inch-crude oil and 12 inch- product pipelines wherever possible.


The AKK Project when completed offers enormous economic and social benefits to the nation. It would unlock 2.2 billion cubic feet of gas to the domestic market, support the addition of 3,600 mega watts of power to the national grid and revitalize textile industries which alone boast of over 3 million jobs in parts of the country. In addition, the AKK project will support the development of petrochemicals, fertilizer, methanol and other gas-based industries that will generate employment and facilitate balanced economic growth. The AKK gas project is a component of the Nigerian Gas master Plan (NGMC), a gas infrastructure blueprint, which was approved by the Federal Executive Council in 2008, but which has received serious attention of the Buhari Administration. The other major domestic gas transmission systems are: The Western System, that is, the existing 36” Escravos-Lagos Pipeline I and II with 2.2billion cubic feet capacity and the On-going East-West connection via the Obiafu/Obrikom-Oben Pipeline (OB3) featuring 2.4billion cubic feet per day capacity.

Read more at: President Buhari flags-off AKK gas pipeline construction


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AKK project: Rekindling economic, industrial hope

KADUNA was once the hub of textile manufacturing in Nigeria with textile factories, including Kaduna Textiles Limited (KTL), Arewa Textiles, United Nigeria Textile Limited (UNTL) and others, located in Kakuri industrial area of the state and employed not less than 30,000 workers. This was at a period the country could boast of having one of the finest and most vibrant textile industries on the continent. At its peak in the 1980s, the industry was at that time a huge foreign exchange earner.

From the premises and surrounding gates of the Arewa Textile Mills, Kaduna, now overgrown with weeds, to the dilapidated structure, the story of the sorry state of not only textile mills in the country, but generally, its industrial base, stares observers in the face. With the existing industrial collapse and mass unemployment, it has remained tales of woe for not only the textile sector but the industrial base of the country.

But, it appears a positive twist in the tale is unfolding and there is hope on the horizon. The inauguration of a $2.8 billion gas pipeline project by President Muhammadu Buhari may have suddenly reawakened the industrialisation drive of the nation. The 614km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano project is expected to add 3,600MW of electricity to the grid when completed and also supply industrial clusters with constant power.

A new bride
Nigeria has insisted on boosting its domestic gas utilisation. With the launch of the construction of the AKK gas pipeline project, boosting electricity generation would be a walkover for the country that has joined other nations to jettison coal for power despite its huge reserves.

At a technical workshop last year, with the theme: “Gas Utilisation in Nigeria: Challenges, Opportunity and Outlook,” organised by Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), Lagos Branch, the Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mr. Ladan Mordecai Lawan revealed that Nigeria had 200.79 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves. This quantity places Nigeria as a gas-producing nation because of its potential gas reserves which were more than its crude oil reserves.

Represented by the Deputy Manager, Gas Division of DPR, Mr Olawale Ogunsola, he said national gas reserves rose to 200.79 trillion cubic feet as of January 1, 2019. Giving a breakdown, he revealed that Nigeria produces daily 1.2 billion standard cubic feet (scf) with 41 per cent of the daily production exported while 48 per cent went to the domestic market, and 11 per cent was being flared.

“From this, it is obvious that the country has a gas resource in abundance. In the global ranking, Nigeria is number nine in terms of reserves. But the country’s gas production and utilisation are still low,” he said.

Kaduna Polytechnic Rector Prof. Idris Bugaje observed that states like Kaduna, just like other Northern states have great agricultural potentials and as such there would be a number of urea fertiliser plants to come on board to be fed with natural gas from the AKK Pipeline. Urea absorbs moisture from the atmosphere and therefore is typically stored either in sealed plastic inner bags or, if stored in bulk, under tight cover with tarpaulin.


“NOTORE in Port Harcourt are the only producers of Urea Fertilizer which they largely export. Kaduna, Kano and Niger should endeavour to establish their own Urea Plants and be able to feed the other Northern States,” he explained.

The Ajaokuta–Kaduna–Kano natural gas pipeline is also designed to pave the way for the development of three-based Independent Power Plants (IPPs) in Abuja (1350MW), Kaduna (900MW) and Kano (1350MW) respectively.

According to the Kano State Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, actualising this project will steer the development of gas-based industries in these places and beyond. For Kano State, the governor noted, it will revitalise the economy of the State to regain its pride of place as the gateway to businesses and industries for the West African sub-region, Ganduje told The Nation in a chat through his Chief Press Secretary (CPS) Abba Anwar.

The governor described the project as “a genuine political will” by Buhari to fast track re-industrialisation process for the state and the country, with “more modern touch.”

“Having a clear understanding of the problem of our state, Kano, President Buhari thought it absolutely well to kick-start and complete this process of re-launching the state (Kano) to her lost glory days of industrialisation. By the time industries in Kano, Kaduna and other areas bounce back, the benefits will go round the nation and beyond,” he explained.

Besides, the project, it is believed, will boost long term economic aspirations and domestic energy infrastructure, while deepening local gas market, creating industrial corridors with cleaner fuel, and commercialising the country’s abundant gas resources.

Economic boost
Kaduna State Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufa’i at the occasion of the inauguration of the Kaduna end of the AKK project is hopeful that the project will bring about rapid economic development in the northwest zone and indeed, the entire country. He believes that the project has, no doubt, lifted hope for the economic recovery of Kaduna State, as one of its major targets, is the revival of the comatose textile industries and the Kakuri industrial area in general.

The National Vice-President, Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria and Chairman, Dala Foods, Kano, Alli Madugu agreed that the overall benefit of the project will “definitely rekindle the economy of Kano” because, with the issue of power plant that will be built, a lot of industries will go off the national grid, freeing up electricity for other smaller businesses and homes.

“With gas, the companies can generate their own power. So, if we are supposed to buy a unit of electricity at N60, with the coming of the gas option through the AKK project, the price will crash to maybe N20 per unit. So, manufacturers and industrialists will rather generate their own power from the gas rather than going to buy from the national grid,” the Dala Foods chairman explained.

He added that most of the firms in Lagos are generating their own power that is why smaller ones are still able to get power to buy.

“Had it been that companies such as Dangote, PZ, Nestle and Flour Mills, among others, are buying power from the national grid, then we would not have had light anywhere to use because they would have bought up everything,” he said.

The Chairman, Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria (MAN), Kaduna State branch, Cibi Hayab, described the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano pipeline project as a welcome development, saying that, by the time the gas is readily available; many companies will be able to generate their own power without difficulty and at a cheaper rate.


He said: “There are many benefits to derive from the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano pipeline because all the public power supply is not very efficient and the alternative source of power is through the gas. So, if gas is easily available then many companies will be able to generate their own power without so much difficulty which may even be cheaper than the public utility from the national grid.

“Many of the private generating plants use gas and without the pipeline, it means they will have to transfer the gas all the way from the Southern part of the country. But with the gas readily available at their domain, many industries will be able to generate their own power supply, perhaps, at a cheaper rate, using gas,” Hayab reasoned.

He noted that the project would also create employment opportunities and foster development while utilising local skills and manpower and promote local manufacturing.

Giving more insight into the technical benefits of the projects, Bugaje said: “AKK Pipeline, which will transport up to 3.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day from various gas gathering sites in Southern Nigeria and process at Ajaokuta will produce Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) used largely for domestic cooking, while the remaining dry gas will be transported to supply feedstock for new power plants and petrochemical plants at Abuja, Kaduna and Kano.

“A very significant industrial use of the AKK gas would be in the production process of heat for many industries. Textile Mills in Kaduna and Kano, for example, collapsed partly due to the very high cost of black oil which sold at a whopping N140 per litre over two decades ago. Natural gas can be connected to appropriate burners in water tube boilers to produce both low-pressure steam and process hot water to meet the requirements of many manufacturing industries.”

Similarly, a lecturer at the Kogi State Polytechnic, Tope Joel, asserted that the economy of the area will be boosted through numerous avenues. He said just like any other situation of this nature, the economy of Ajaokuta and its environs will greatly improve as people will be employed, while material goods and social services will be in demand.

“People of the communities will be employed; don’t forget there will be a spike in the daily need for food, services and other sundry needs in the communities. In the two, or so years that the project is expected to be completed, a whole lot of activities will surface, to add to the economic development of the areas,” he said.


Looking ahead
Even as speculation of the huge benefits that the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline project would yield, stakeholders and experts, have suggested that the focus of usage of the product from the project should be on the private sector and not the electricity distribution companies, which, till date, have been unable to utilise (evacuate) even the thermal power source that is available.

The President may have been thinking along this line.

At the inauguration of the AKK project, President Buhari urged the private sector to champion the efforts for optimal use of the nation’s gas resources, insisting that the private sector has what is required to create a petrochemical hub aimed at resurrecting the manufacturing industry and putting the country on the path of increased self-sufficiency.

As if responding to the President’s challenge, The Nation gathered that smart businessmen in Kano and Kaduna states have started constructing Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) plants. Already, this has encouraged some gas moguls in the country to move ahead of production.

According to the Independent Petroleum Marketers’ Association of Nigeria (IPMAN ) National Vice-President, Alhaji Abubakar Maigandi, well-meaning Nigerians have started taking advantage of the gas project.

“Now there are states such as Kaduna and Kano that have started constructing LPG filling stations. They are targeting the AKK plant as their source of energy. When the project gets to Kano and Kaduna, it will impact on other northern states. Normally, the transportation of gas increases the rate. When it is being pushed down, the cost will reduce and it will lead to gas availability,” he said.

In a chat with The Nation, Maigandi expects that the project will not only crash the prices of gas, it will also culminate in the availability of the product in the country.

Challenge
Madugu, though happy about the project, he, however, calls for caution. According to him, the industrial estates in Kano are already oversaturated.

“The Sharada, Challawa and Bompai industrial estates are already over-saturated. So, the issue now is that commercial activities in Kano have started taking over some of the industries, and Kano is now becoming a commercial city where people operate warehouses. So, for now, the gas pipeline coming to Kano in the industrial areas will be challenging,” he told The Nation in a telephone chat.

Madugu, however, called on the state government to collaborate with the Federal Government and map out a route for the AKK project such that it can birth a new industrial layout for the state. When this is done, he argued, the AKK project will be better utilised by industries that will eventually relocate to this project axis.

“It will be very difficult for the old industrial layout in Kano to benefit from this project because some of the industrial layouts have shut down and commercial activities have taken over the place. If you are putting infrastructure for 200 companies and only a fraction will utilise it, of what use is that?

“On the other hand, if along Kaduna-Kano Road, the AKK pipeline will go through there it will be easy for people to begin to set up industrial firms along that corridor.

So, with that, many industries in Kano will be relocating there because the land will be cheaper, the congestion will be reduced and the concentration of industries will be there. The Bompai industrial estate is already in the middle of the city up to Challawa,” Madugu said.

Further development
Yet, more benefits to the economic development of the country abound from the project. Bugaje further explained that petrochemicals that can be produced from natural gas are many and include Urea Fertiliser, Ammonia, Methanol and other alcohols, Formaldehyde, Ethylene Glycol and various liquid transport fuels, among others.

All these, he noted, can be produced from synthesis gas (made from natural gas) by using carefully selected catalysts and appropriate reaction conditions. Synthesis Gas (sometimes shortened to Syngas) compositions must, therefore, be well controlled during processing in order to achieve high-quality final products. “Kaduna, just like other Northern states, has great agricultural potential and as such, we should expect a number of Urea Fertiliser plants to come on board to be fed with natural gas from the AKK pipeline,” he said.

He advised that Kaduna, Kano and Niger states should endeavour to establish their own Urea Plants and be able to feed other Northern states.

Local content
Stakeholders are not oblivious of the benefits that may accrue to the country in terms of local content development. Maigandi, therefore, urged the Federal Government to insist on the engagement of Nigerian youths, especially those that the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) trained abroad in welding and other relevant skills. With this, he said, Nigeria can realise optimal benefits from the AKK gas pipeline project.

He reiterated that some Nigerians were the brain behind the construction of pipeline projects in other countries; therefore, they should be employed to bring their expertise to bear on the project instead of engaging foreigners.

“They (Federal Government and the contractors) should fully engage Nigerians to make it provide employment opportunities. In most of the gas pipeline projects in other countries, you may find out that Nigerians are working there.

“If Nigerians can do the job in other countries, I see no reason they cannot do it in their country. They should involve Nigerians fully. They should engage the Nigerians whom the PTDF has trained overseas in this field,” he insisted.

Notwithstanding the availability of the product (gas) and its usage by companies in the areas, the commencement of work will, no doubt, boost the overall economy of the immediate and surrounding areas the pipelines will run through.

Foreign investors
Bugaje explained that since the project is likely to take two years to complete, it now gives good time for Nigerian and foreign investors to start planning the relevant downstream industries to utilise the dry gas (largely made up of methane). While electric power plants are major consumers of gas, an even greater value addition industry is the petrochemical industry.

“The states of Kano, Kaduna and Niger and the FCT should immediately set out committees to pursue investors in these sectors,” Bugaje said.

Political will
Laudable as the project is, there are fears that a lack of political will may eventually truncate it. Except for lack of political will, Nigeria has all it takes to actualise the project in terms of gas reserves.

Maigandi warns that if the project is not eventually enmeshed in political gimmicks, then the AKK project “is a very good one” as it will help the gas revolution programme become a reality.

Buhari on June 30 launched the building of the $2.8 billion projects which is due for completion in 24 months. The course of the gas pipeline project is from Escravos to Lagos Pipeline System – 2 (ELPS-2), Obiafu to Obrikom (OB3) pipeline and AKK.

Spanning 614 kilometres through Kogi, Niger, the Federal Capital Territory, Kaduna and Kano states, the project is expected to inject 2.2bscf/d of gas into the domestic market and equally facilitate additional power generation capacity of 3,600 megawatts of electricity.

The main contractor of the project is Messrs Oilserv Plc/China First Highway Engineering Company (Oilserv/CFHEC Consortium) is assigned to handle the first segment covering 303 kilometres.

According to its Chairman, Dr Emeka Okwuosa, upon completion of the project, the country’s gas infrastructure would be sufficient enough to raise and repay its loans earlier than the targeted date.

 
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