By Jonathan Ugbal: Government House Correspondent
The Cross River State Government has said it will partner with the Nigeria Gas Marketing Company, a subsidiary of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation in its gas to energy program that may see an uptake of up to 100mmscf of gas.
The Governor, Senator Ben Ayade stated this Thursday in Calabar when he hosted a delegation from the NGMC led by Engineer Michael Akinsanya, the executive director asset management and technical services who disclosed that the former Nigeria Gas Company was split into two with the NGMC saddled with the responsibility of marketing and distribution.
Ayade expressed delight that the gas plan of the NGMC was in line with the state plans and said the state’s choice of gas to energy was based on the fact that it was “taking over oil” and relatively cheaper and environmental friendly.
He posited that gas had a wider use than just energy which is being sourced from hydro, wind and solar and maintained that the recent discoveries in nanotechnology and biotechnology meant the hay days of gas are yet to come.
He said the state’s industrialization plans will need gas and concluded that at the end, the NGMC might shut down operations in other states to feed their market in Cross River following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Siemens to deliver a 750 Megawatts power pack in 18 months, the industrial boulevard, the new cities, as well as a NGN100 billion worth project agreements with China harbour that will see the influx of about 150 Chinese firms operate in the state.
These, Mr. Ayade said will “choke” the NGMC which has proposed a supply of 40 million mmscf by the year 2021 and argued that a 28 inches pipeline will not be enough to cater for the state’s needs.
The Governor said that the state is already planning the conversion of the combustion compartment of its 21 Megawatts power plant to be gas fired instead of LPFO or diesel as earlier planned posited that: “If power is fixed, Nigeria will fix itself.”
On gas marketing, he sued for a mutually beneficial agreement between the state’s petroleum company, PetroCross, the NGMC and its marketing partner, Obeks group that will see PetroCross be a major up taker of gas in the state.
Mr. Ayade later invited the group to participate in the 2017 Carnival Calabar. “Your gas market footprint will be incomplete without our Carnival footprint,” he added.
Earlier, Engr. Akinsanya in his presentation said that: “We are here to partner the state to really distribute gas but for industrial and other purposes that will be identified.
He noted that: “Wherever there is gas, companies almost always relocate there,” and said the state belongs to the eastern operation pipeline area of the NGMC with a survey showing that the market potential was high.
“Market survey recently carried out in Calabar by NGMC identified existing and potential market demand of up to 40mmscfd by 2021 especially with the Calabar FTZ which has a current demand of about 12.5 mmscfd,” he said.
The NGMC plans to develop the gas distribution business in collaboration with Obeks group which according to Akinsanya “would be critical energy feed to drive his Excellency’s to transform the state.”
He continued: “Gas is cheap and efficient and reliable compared to LPFO and will lead to Power availability on a sustainable basis.”
Mr. Akinsanya also said that the NGMC can do an “accelerated project delivery and in no time” if it gets to know the location of the state’s 21 MW power plant and the conversion of the combustion compartment completed.
On gas delivery, he disclosed that the NGMC will “Hottap into the C18 X 107 pipeline from NGPTCs Ikpe Annang Scrapper Station in Calabar city gate station and to the Calabar Free Trade Zone.”
Also, he sought for the support of the state in land acquisition, permits, synergy to enable a coordinated approach in energy supply as well as the establishment of an optimal pipeline route for gas supply and commencement of commercial discussion on gas supply.
Mr. Ayade later took the delegation on a tour to the Ayade industrial boulevard along the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan bypass, 21 MW power plant and the proposed site for the 27 MW powerplant at the Tinapa Premier Business and Leisure resort.