The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its partners on Friday formally committed to the execution of the $3.6billion Integrated Gas Processing and Methanol Plant in Odioma, Brass Island, Bayelsa State with the final investment decision (FID).
The project is being executed by the Brass Fertilizer and Petrochemical Company Limited (BFPCL), an incorporated entity owned by the NNPC, in partnership of DSV Engineering 8and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).
At a formal event in Abuja on Friday to sign the decision, the NNPC said it was committed to do everything within its resources to ensure the timely completion of the project on schedule.
The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari, said the facility, which is the first in Nigeria, was projected to be the largest methanol plant in Africa.
Mr Kyari said NNPC was excited with the current efforts by the Federal Government to provide value for Nigeria’s gas resources.
He said the project was another giant step by the corporation and its partners towards the continued utilization of the country’s vast gas resources.
The FID on the project, Mr Kyari said, was one of the most significant decisions in line with the declaration by the government, through the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, of 2020 as the year of gas and 2021-2030 as the decade of gas.
He said the construction phase of the project would create about 30,000 Nigerians, in addition to the 5,000 permanent jobs expected to come when the plant becomes operational.
The BFPCL Board Chairman, who is also the NNPC Chief Operating Officer, Gas & Power, Usman Yusuf, in his welcome remarks said a lump sum Turnkey Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract has already been awarded to the China Tianchen Engineering Corporation (TCC).
Already, he said TATA Consulting Engineers would be providing project management consultancy for the delivery of the plant in 2024.
In 2017, BFPCL secured an Initialled Gas Sales and Purchase Agreement (GSPA) with the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) joint venture for a 25-year supply of 270 million standard cubic feet per day (MMSCF/D) of rich gas to the project.
The integrated project is expected to deliver 10,000 tons per day (TPD) of methanol products for export and supply to the domestic markets.
The Executive Vice-Chairman of BFPCL, Ben Okoye, said the signing of the FID was an affirmative vote and consent by the Board to the construction of the gas plant.
Mr Okoye said with a production capacity of 10,000 tons per day (tpd), the facility would be the largest methanol plant in Africa, with a huge potential to provide gainful employment for many youths both at the construction and operational stages.
He said based on the lessons learnt from the relationships between host communities and oil and gas companies, the project would afford the host communities to have equity shareholding participation to give them a sense of belonging.
The Minister of State Petroleum Resources and Alternate Chairman of the NNPC Board, Timipre Sylva, said the FID marked yet another milestone in the ongoing efforts to monetize and add value to the nation’s abundant natural gas endowments.
The Minister said in July 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the development of the Brass Gas Hub with the sole aim of aggregating and monetizing all stranded gas in the Brass area, amounting to over 14 trillion standard cubic feet.
“Today we are witnessing the signing of the Final Investment Decision of Phase 1 of the Brass Gas Hub by the promoters of this laudable project.
“The project is expected to have very significant economic impact on the country, including, but not limited to support for gas-based industries, revenue generation, import substitution for the methanol needs of the country currently at about 100 percent imported, among others’’ the Minister said.
While assuring the BFPCL of the government’s support, the Minister called on the company to ensure the timely completion of the project.