02 July 2012, Sweetcrude, Lagos – The House of Representatives Committee on Gas visited The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC) on June 28, and commended the company’s investments in the gas sector, on inspection of some projects in continuation of its oversight function. The 15-member team led by the Chairman, Hon. Bassey Eko visited Afam VI power plant and Okoloma gas plant, which he described as “excellent” investments.
“My Committee’s visit has shown that SPDC is committed to ensuring that Nigeria gets value for its investment,” Hon. Eko said. “The Okoloma Gas Plant is excellent and we are happy for the work going on here.”
Welcoming the legislators, SPDC Managing Director, Mutiu Sunmonu recalled the company’s pioneering role in gas development in Nigeria more than 40 years ago. “We remained the only supplier of gas to the domestic market until about 1998, and continue to play a dominant role in the sector. For example, the Afam Power Plant is the biggest facility of its kind built in Nigeria by a private entity.”
Mr. Sunmonu added: “Gas projects don’t come easily or quickly. It takes about four to five years for a typical project to progress from concept to commissioning, so we need a safe and secure environment along with the right incentives to plan and mature these initiatives.”
In a briefing session, General Manager Onshore/Offshore Projects, Toyin Olagunju said SPDC commissioned three gas projects between 2008 and 2010 alone. These are Okoloma Gas Plant, Gbaran – Ubie Integrated Oil and Gas Development and the Gbaran Independent Power Plant Supply project.
Afam VI achieved first power in August 2008 and currently contributes 650 MW to the National Grid. Okoloma Gas Plant has the capacity to supply 240 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (MMscf/d). The field superintendent in charge of the gas plant, Collins Amadi, said: “To fully realise the benefits of the gas plant, it is important to address low off-take by customers and repeated attacks of the gas evacuation pipelines by thieves looking for crude oil.”
When SPDC built Afam VI Power Plant and Okoloma Gas Plant, it also implemented several development projects for the 22 host communities, covering economic empowerment, human capital development and provision of social infrastructure. The company spent more than $20 million on building of roads, schools, town halls and markets, award of secondary school and university scholarships, introduction of microcredit programmes for small businesses and connection of communities to the national grid.
The Committee members expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the visit and pledged to support the Government and SPDC in their efforts to monetise the nation’s gas resources.