By Tayo Joseph Lagos, Nigeria
As part of concerted efforts to resolve the nation’s electric power challenge, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Bayelsa State Government are to build a power plant in the state.
The Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru, made this known on Thursday while receiving the State Governor, Rt. Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson at the NNPC Towers in Abuja.
Dr. Baru said the power plant would be built at the state’s proposed industrial park, stressing that the collaboration would afford the state and NNPC the opportunity to share technical knowledge that would attract investors to the Niger Delta region.
“We have a lot of areas of collaboration. The NNPC will support Bayelsa State Government every inch of the way to deliver on the power plant in the proposed industrial park, ensure security of oil and gas infrastructure and siting of other inclusive projects that would improve the lives of the people in the communities,” Dr. Baru assured.
The GMD said Bayelsa State was earmarked for the Federal Government’s Greenfield Modular Refinery project which feasibility studies had been concluded, adding however that the project was stalled due to the withdrawal of the foreign partners from the project.
Commenting on the delay on the Final Investment Decision (FID) of Brass Liquefied Natural Gas (BLNG), the GMD stated that the project had not taken off because arrangements are on for a market window for the product.
“We have spent a lot of money on the Brass LNG project and we had planned the FID for 2012 but the shareholders were unable to secure the market due to new plants in East Africa and other developments in the industry. What the shareholders in Brass LNG are doing now is to redesign the plant and secure a market because without the market the project cannot go on,” he said.
The GMD also expressed interest in the state’s Brass Fertilizer Company, assuring that NNPC was prepared to invest in the project as a shareholder.
Dr. Baru further pledged to rally NNPC and its Joint Venture partners to support the State Trust Fund in order to mitigate the incidences of pipeline vandalism which impact negatively on the efficiency of the operators as well as the environment.
Earlier, the Governor Seriake Dickson said the visit was to appreciate the laudable efforts of the GMD and his team and to solicit the Corporation’s support for the state’s security, development and the Oil and Gas industry.
Governor Dickson told the GMD that his state would seek an Oil Prospecting License, OPL, whenever the industry undertakes another bid round.
He noted that his state needed such investment, over time, to augment the monthly allocation from the Federal Government.