By Modupe Gbadeyanka The management of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has expressed its willingness to complete an addition 1000km gas pipeline infrastructure across the country. Speaking on Tuesday in Abuja at the 2017 Conference and Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru, stated that so far, his agency has completed, commissioned and delivered 500km of gas pipelines from 2010. He listed the gas pipelines so far delivered to include the 196km Oben Gas Plant to Geregu Power Plant pipeline, 110km Escravos-Warri-Oben gas pipeline, 128km Ukanafun-Calabar pipeline, 50km Emuren-Itoki pipeline, 31km Itoki- Olorunshogo pipeline and 24km Imo River-Alaoji gas pipeline. Mr Baru noted that all available thermal power plants in the country are today connected with permanent gas supply pipelines. In his paper entitled, \u2018Revival and Development of Local Manufacturing Industries: Chemical and Petrochemical Industries,\u2019 Mr Baru, who is a Fellow of the NSE, said the accelerated expansion of the gas pipeline system was sequel to the directive of the then President Olusegun Obasanjo who mandated the oil companies operating in-country to support the power generation effort. He said the directive became imperative after the government realized that adequate power supply was key to reviving the moribund industries. Mr Baru added that with NNPC driving the realization of Federal Government\u2019s aspiration to expand the gas pipeline network to all parts of the country, about 2,700MW of thermal electricity was expected to be added to the national grid in the near future, to exponentially generate more power for new industrial revolution with a view to achieving sustainable economic growth. He noted that the earlier government\u2019s initiative in this regard populated the seeds for the growth of Nigeria\u2019s gas-fired power plants, which gradually scaled up thermal power contribution to more than 70 percent of total power generated in the country today. Providing details of the planned expansion of the gas infrastructure, the NNPC GMD said the lines would be bolstered with the ongoing construction of the 127km East-West OB3 gas pipeline joining Oben to Obiafu-Obrikom. He explained that the strategic infrastructure was scheduled for completion by 4th quarter of 2018, while the 363km looping expansion of Escravos-Lagos Gas Pipeline System was expected for delivery by Q1 2018. He also explained that Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) tender evaluation process for Ajaokuta-Abuja-Kaduna-Kano (popularly known as AKK683km) gas pipeline contract, and the EPC tender process for the Qua Iboe Terminal to Obiafu\/Obrikom (QIT-Ob\/Ob gas pipeline) gas pipeline were on-going. Upon completion the remaining projects are expected to add over 1000 kilometres to the nation\u2019s gas pipeline network. On funding of Oil and Gas development projects, Mr Baru said the corporation was adopting the Public Private Partnership (PPP) models in building and expanding the gas infrastructures. He said the development of the Ajaokuta\u2013Abuja-Kaduna\u2013Kano (AKK) gas pipelines which was the first in line under the arrangement would be built through contractor financing where the selected contractors would be providing financing to build the line and recover their cost through transportation tariff. \u201cThis model will be extended to other major backbone pipelines in the Nigerian Gas Master Plan,\u201d he said. He concluded that once these projects were completed, a nationwide gas infrastructure backbone would be in place to fully enable the establishment of an integrated gas pipeline infrastructure grid across the entire country.