NNPC, Indorama Seal Deal to Deepen Nigeria’s Gas Strategy
By Adedapo Adesanya
Following President Bola Tinubu’s visit to India last week, the country’s oil company, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals Limited on gas supply in a bid to promote the use of natural gas by large-scale gas utilization industries.
The deal, if actualised, will allow both parties to explore and develop suitable opportunities within the remits of their interests across the hydrocarbon value chain in Nigeria.
According to NNPC Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO), Mr Mele Kyari, “NNPC Limited is on the threshold of making value out of gas beyond any imagination.”
As the national energy company, one of NNPC’s roles, as enshrined in article 64(i) of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), is to promote the use of natural gas through the development and operation of large-scale gas utilisation industries.
This role is in alignment with Nigeria’s Nigasification strategy, which is a consolidation of critical programs embarked upon by the company to utilise natural gas and its associated liquids to be the energy source of choice, spur economic growth, free up crude oil for exports, and ultimately enable job creation.
According to the NNPC GCEO, with this project, “we are seeing an annual contribution of $3bn to the nation’s GDP and a lifetime contribution of $18bn to government revenue.”
As part of the company’s vision of operating the largest Petrochemical Hub in Africa, Indorama, which owns the world’s largest single-train Urea Plant located in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, is currently working on expansion plans within the next six years in the gas-based heavy manufacturing industries including fertilizer, methanol, and petrochemicals.
In his remarks, the MD/CEO of Africa Indorama Energy, Mr Manish Mundra, stated that, “This is a strategic collaboration to unlock Nigeria’s upstream sector, but more importantly, to partner downstream in order to share the value chain.” He said that “Nigeria’s gas reserves should position the country as one of the largest producers of urea in the western hemisphere.”
Key benefits of the opportunities include the monetization of over 1.7 TCF of gas and 100 million barrels of oil reserves, generation of upstream lifecycle revenue of over $18 billion, downstream production of about 4.8 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of products, including methanol, urea, and fertilizer to boost national food security.
Other benefits include the creation of about 55,000 direct and indirect employment opportunities, the development of a condensate refinery to boost petroleum product supply and reduce product importation, an annual GDP contribution of over $3.8 billion, and the attraction of over $7 billion of foreign direct investment into the country.
In a related development, President Tinubu made senior management changes as he appointed three new executives to steer the ship of the company.
These are Mr Oritsemeyiwa A. Eyesan as the Executive Vice President for Upstream; Mr Olalekan Ogunleye as the Executive Vice President for Gas, Power, and New Energy; and Mr Adedapo A. Segun as the Executive Vice President for Downstream.
According to a statement signed by Mr Garba Deen Muhammad, NNPC’s Chief Corporate Communications Officer, this is “in line with NNPC Ltd.’s commitment and drive for organisational renewal, anchored on our business imperatives, standards of excellence, people development, and strengthening our competencies and capabilities through broad-based leadership exposures.”