26 May 2014, News Wires – The Federal Government said on Monday that it had concluded necessary arrangements to build Africa’s first multi-billion dollar dedicated gas industrial park in the Delta State as part of a comprehensive strategy for gas processing.
Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, stated this at the opening session of a three-day National Conference/Exhibition on Gas Resources, organised by the Senate Committee on Gas, held in Abuja.
The minister, who was represented on the occasion by the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, explained that the proposed park would consist of industries which would produce fertilizers, petrochemical, methanol and other related products.
She said, “As part of our infrastructure blueprint, we have entrenched the concept of gas processing facilities, with a view to extracting the various constituents of natural gas such as the Liquified Petroleum Gas and ethanol among others.
“These will help grow LPG availability for domestic use, whilst the ethane will help fuel the growth of petrochemical industries and the residue gas will then be used as feedstock fors fertilizer, methanol and so on.”
She lamented that successive administrations in the country had made gas played second fiddle to crude oil in Nigeria as it was treated as a nuisance by-product of oil production.
“This mindset governed how the gas sector was handled initially, hence, pricing of gas was deliberately low because it was aimed at disposing an unwanted product,” she added.
Alison – Madueke also explained that the perceived low value of gas did not encourage the development of infrastructure around it while the dominant legislative framework for the industry was essentially based on crude oil production and not gas.
She however said in conformity with global best practices, the Federal Government had ensured that gas, like other advanced countries, would henceforth take the centre stage in the country’s economic activities.
She said, “Gas is fast evolving as the preferred fuel in view of its relatively more impressive environmental credential and lower cost of supply than alternative liquid fuel.
“Natural Gas has the capacity to transform an economy. We have seen successful examples all over the World. Qatar, which has the highest Gross Domestic Product in the World, has its growth anchored on natural gas.
“Also, Trinidad and Tobago saw transformational changes in its GDP and employment rate as it exploited its modest natural gas resources.”