By Emmanuella Anokam
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd.) says the ongoing Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline project will be completed by the first quarter of 2023.
Malam Mele Kyari, Group Managing Director, NNPC said this on Thursday while inspecting the AKK gas project site at Abaji, Abuja along with some NNPC Board members, top officials and other dignitaries.
Some of them are, the NNPC Board Chairman, Sen. Margery Okadigbo; Group Executive Director (GED), Finance and Accounts, Mr Umar Ajiya; GED, Upstream, Mr Adokiye Tombomieye.
Officials of Oilserv Ltd., among others, were also present.
The project which spans a length of 614 kilometres is a natural gas pipeline being developed by the NNPC to transport gas from Ajaokuta through several states and urban centres in Nigeria.
The project, the construction of which began in 2020 and estimated at 2.8 billion dollars, is a segment of the Trans-Nigeria Gas Pipeline (TNGP) and the Trans Saharan gas pipeline project
Kyari, during the inspection, said the AKK gas pipeline was a signature project for President Muhammadu Buhari, a great one to deliver to the country before the end of his tenure.
He said that more importantly, it would bring major development, progress, creative jobs and stabilised power as well as revamp industries across the country.
Kari said this was because it would de-bottleneck gas supply network in the entire country.
According to him, it will serve as gas supply link to other African countries and Europe upon completion.
“We are very confident that by first quarter of 2023, we will put gas on these pipelines. This project will be delivered on schedule and timely, we are putting in place everything required to deliver the project.
“We have missed some schedules but we are doing a catch up, we have put a number of interventions that are necessary, including deployment of additional resource required to deliver the project,” he said.
The NNPC boss, while commending the contractor on its effort, said it should speed up the project because the whole world was in need of gas.
According to the GMD, it is a market opportunity for Nigeria, being the highest gas reserve country in Africa.
Also speaking, Okadigbo, said she was impressed with the progress made on the project and expressed optimism that it would be completed in good time.
Mr Emeka Okwuosa, Chairman, Oilserv Ltd., company in charge of the project Engineering, Procurement and Construction, said with prompt intervention of the NNPC management, it had redoubled effort and added more capacity to meet deadline.
“This is one out of six sites we are working, this is one of the crews of automatic welding, relative to the entire pipeline scope that we are executing; we have done 120 kilometres welding and more than 80 per cent engineering and procurement,” he said.
Mr Steve Nnorom, Project Manager, Oilserv Ltd, (segment one AKK pipeline work) analysed the pipeline and station installation, showing progress as at April 11, 2022.
Nnorom explained that it structured the work by splitting the spread into three segments, namely, Alpha, Bravo and Charlie for construction oversight.
He said that it was currently on Bravo, typically on welding.
Under the Alpha segment, which comprised survey verification, stringing, bush clearing, field joint coating among others, he said it had surveyed cumulatively 214 kilometres, performed bush clearing, done one third of mainland welding.
At Bravo segment, he said it had deployed latest technology of full automatic and manual welding spread and achieved one third of mainland pipeline and welding, adding that it would cover the entire location within committed time from its pace.
“We are doing all we can despite the challenges. The spread we are in now is less challenging.
“Starting from Ajaokuta, we have rocky terrain, 3.2 kilometres of that section are all rocky terrains but we are fragmenting the rocks for back-end activities which we are planning.
“In the upcoming months we will start ditching, lowering and back filling the pipelines. We are also placing order for other mainland procurement items that will go on the mainline,” he said.
Speaking on infrastructure interference, he said the company was mindful of that, as power lines along its right of way were slowing down the progress of the project.
“We have human active environment whereby we cross people’s buildings, markets not destroyed yet but we are working in conjunction with the owners who have issued the right of way for complete compensations to avoid interruption,” he said.
Upon completion, AKK gas project would boost the agricultural and manufacturing sectors, and reduce the nation’s carbon footprint as part of measures to cut down on global warming.
It will also provide gas for generation of power and for gas-based industries.
This will facilitate the development of new industries and also the revival of moribund ones along transit towns in Kogi, Abuja, Niger, Kaduna and Kano states. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)