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 Delta State as part of a comprehensive strategy for gas processing.
The 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 in Abuja.
The minister, who was represented by the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, explained that the proposed park would consist of industries, which would produce fertilizers, petrochemicals, 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 Liquefied Petroleum Gas and ethanol, among others.
“These will help to grow LPG availability for domestic use, whilst the ethane will help to fuel the growth of petrochemical industries and the residue gas will then be used as feedstock for fertilizer, methanol and so on.”
Alison-Madueke lamented that successive administrations in the country had made gas to play a second fiddle to crude oil 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.
The minister 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 that in conformity with global best practices, the Federal Government had ensured that in Nigeria, like other advanced countries, gas would henceforth take the centre stage in the country’s economic activities.
Alison-Madueke 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.”
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