Following the flag off of the construction of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipeline by President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria is set to realise the long held dream of building the nation’s biggest domestic gas transmission infrastructure.
The 614-kilometer gas pipeline conceived to provide the highly desired stimulus to domestic industrial growth will be delivered by a consortium of indigenous and international engineering firms. The project will also signal the finest hour so far for the Nigerian Content Policy goals.
The project, according to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), will significantly curb gas flaring in the Niger Delta and guarantee better air quality in the oil producing region.
Furthermore, the pipeline which was conceived to connect demand from the northern part of the country with supply from the south would be the biggest infrastructure development in the country’s recent history. It will also mark a significant shift in the nation’s energy policy; from revenue targeted export programmes to development focused domestic supply programmes.
Significantly, the $2.8 billion project will break through on June 30, after seven years of rigorous processes that morphed from policy conception through implementation strategy designs, master-plans and solid implementation programmes.
Perhaps the biggest value to the economy is the participation of indigenous engineering firms led by pipeline giant, Oilserv Limited, in the delivery of some of the phases of the project.
According to the Group Chairman, (Dr.) Emeka Okwuosa, “being part of the historic AKK project is an honor and delight. I welcome Nigerians to witness the special moment when President Muhammadu Buhari flags off the long awaited project.”
The company has successfully delivered over 17 similar challenging projects in the country including the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of the 67 kilometre Obiafu/Obrikom to Oben (OB3) 48 inch diameter Gas Transmission Pipeline System.
The Oilserv consortium is slated to deliver the first 200 kilometre phase of the AKK pipeline which covers the section between Ajaokuta and Abuja, after securing the EPC contract in April 2018.
Nigeria’s Presidency had confidently asserted that the AKK “pipeline project is itself a section of an ambitious pipeline project to supply gas to Europe through the proposed Trans Sahara Gas Pipeline (TSGP) and Nigeria Morocco Gas Pipelines.”
Thus, in the short term the AKK will ensure energy sufficiency for domestic commerce and industry, and in the long term, having deepened and satisfied domestic demand, morph into an export pipeline and economic mainstay.
The AKK pipeline, in Nigeria’s prevailing socio-economic downturn, will prove to be fortuitous as well as strategic even as the world steps away from fossil fuel. Beyond the immediate need to stem the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic and stimulate activity in the domestic economy, the AKK, which is already potentially poised as a very central economic powerhouse in Nigeria, will also create deeper, more enduring values.
The values envisaged from the project include: multiplier effect in the local content circles, cleaner environment for the host communities, accelerated technical growth, direct citizen utility, industrial convenience, and of course, general broadening of the economy.
Speaking to the pressmen at the commissioning site in Ajaokuta on Monday, the Deputy Project Manager, Oilserv Limited, Mr. Charles Nwokoye, assured that the project will be delivered as scheduled.
The project is scheduled for completion by mid-2020 and it is expected to improve domestic gas commercialisation and utilisation.