A Review of the Nigerian Energy Industry

Gulf of Guinea plans N173bn methanol plant in Nigeria

Michael Eboh

05 February 2013, Sweetcrude, Lagos – Gulf of Guinea Oil Exploration Limited is to invest N172.7billion ($1.1 billion) in the construction of a new methanol facility in the Niger Delta.

According to a statement by the company, the facility, which will have a capacity of 1.8 million tonnes is a contribution to the Federal Government’s drive for new energy solutions and will provide approximately two per cent of global methanol production.

Mr. Joe Ibeh, a former director of the United Kingdom subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and currently Executive Director of GGOEX, stated that financial closure for the project is expected to be achieved in the fourth quarter of 2013.

He disclosed that the plant is projected to have a three year construction phase and will help promote an alternative to fuel.

Ibeh said the company is at an advanced stage of discussions with the Federal Government in reaching agreements for the allocation and supply of natural gas for the life of the project.

He added that the approval of the government, followed by the execution of agreements for the supply and aggregation of gas for the project, as well as off-taker agreements for the methanol, is expected to be received in the first quarter of 2013.

According to him, Methanol, seen as alternative to conventional transportation fuels, is cheap to produce and has lower risk of flammability compared with gasoline.

He said, “The facility, with a projected daily production of 5,000 metric tonnes, will be sited at the proposed Gas Industrial Park at Ogidigbie in Delta State, an initiative of the Nigerian Government designed to be a one-stop shop for gas based industries in the country.

“The $20 billion Industrial Park will also house a petrochemical plant, to be operated by Xenel, the Saudi Arabian conglomerate, a fertiliser plant to be operated by Indian company, Nagarjunaand and a central processing facility operated by the NNPC/Chevron joint venture.”

Ibeh disclosed that the Gulf of Guinea will have on-board HaldorTopsoe AS of Denmark as technical and strategic partner for the project.

He said that HaldorTopsoe is a leading provider of gas synthesizing solutions for the production of methanol, and their Advanced Autothermal Reforming (ATR) technology is recognized as the solution of choice for large methanol plants.

The Federal Government of Nigeria is to grant free trade zone status to the Gas Industrial Park, and is concluding arrangement for the relocation of the NNPC/Chevron JV independent power plant from Agura, Lagos State to the Industrial Park for provision of the required power supply.

GGOEX is an integrated indigenous energy company incorporated to engage in the exploration, development, production, utilization and monetisation of gas reserves in established and emerging frontiers. GGOEX will act as local content partners for this project and will be providing core equity funding for the project.

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