President Muhammadu Buhari will be making history as he flags off the construction of the $2.8 billion 614km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) natural gas pipeline, the single biggest gas pipeline project in Nigeria’s history, by Tuesday June 30, 2020, in Ajaokuta (Kogi State) and Rigachikun (Kaduna State).
The project, which is taking off after months of discussions in and out of the country, will boost domestic gas consumption, power generation, and industrialization.
The AKK pipeline project, which will carry gas between the southern and northern parts of the country, will eventually extend to North Africa.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) initially announced tenders for this project in July 2013. A project proposal was submitted to the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) in June 2017, and the Federal Executive Council subsequently granted approval in December 2017.
The 614 kilometers-long natural gas pipeline is Phase One of the Trans-Nigeria Gas Pipeline (TNGP) project, to be done on a build-and-transfer Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis. It will transport 3,500 million metric standard cubic feet per day of dehydrated gas from several gas gathering projects located in southern Nigeria.
The project will be in three phases:
- The first phase is 200 kilometers long and is between Ajaokuta and Abuja, at a projected cost of $855 million.
- The second phase is 193 kilometers long, between Abuja and Kaduna. It is estimated to cost $835 million.
- The third phase is 221 kilometers-long, between Kaduna and Kano, at a projected cost of $1.2 billion.
It will eventually reach North Africa in subsequent phases.
The AKK gas pipeline project will create steady and guaranteed gas supply network between the Northern and Southern part of Nigeria, and enhance power generation capacity. The industrial sector will be strengthened, local usage of gas will be promoted and increased, and the country’s revenue generation boosted through export of natural gas.
Nigeria, currently ranked the 7th most endowed natural gas country in the world, sits on about 180 trillion cubic feet of natural gas deposits, which can be utilized as gas to power, gas to petrochemicals, liquefied natural gas (LNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and compressed natural gas (CNG), among others.
Over the years, Nigeria has exploited its oil resources more, to the detriment of gas, which incidentally fetches more revenue although more expensive to prospect.
One big advantage the average Nigerian can look forward to is the evolution of compressed natural gas (CNG), which is still at pilot stage in the country.