The Federal Government hopes to attract investors from the United States and the US government to participate in the gas flare commercialisation programme being pursued in Nigeria.
Latest information from the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources in Abuja on Friday indicated that the Federal Government was set to unveil opportunities in the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme to the US government and its investors later this month.
Senior officials at the FMPR told our correspondent in Abuja that the move was also aimed at attracting more foreign direct investments into Nigeria.
According to them, the NGFCP has the potential of generating approximately $3.5bn of inward investment, with the potential Gross Domestic Product impact estimated at over $1bn per annum.
The Programme Manager, NGFCP, Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Justice Derefaka, said the US had indicated interest and sought to know more about the gas flare commercialisation drive being pursued in Nigeria.
In July this year, The PUNCH reported that based on the Federal Government’s drive to attract about $3.5bn investments through the NGFCP into the country, it had issued letters of qualification to 205 firms interested in the project.
The report stated that over 850 interested parties had registered their interests in the programme, while 238 applicants had submitted Statements of Qualification in response to the Request for Qualification published by the Department of Petroleum Resources.
A total of 238 SOQ documents were evaluated in accordance with the provisions of applicable regulations, guidelines and standard DPR practices for bid evaluation and were adjudged either a ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ status.
“Following a rigorous exercise conducted in line with established protocol and using the electronic evaluation tool, 205 applicants emerged successful, attaining a ‘pass status’, while the remaining 33 applicants did not meet the minimum requirements and thus attained ‘fail status’,” Derefaka told our correspondent in Abuja.
It was further gathered on Friday that the United States government, through the US Commercial Service in Lagos, Nigeria, had requested that the NGFCP be explained fully at a three-day business forum entitled, ‘Discover Global Markets: Powering and Building the Middle East and Africa’, holding in Houston, Texas this month.
According to the US Commercial Service, the forum would bring together global leaders across the oil and gas, renewable energy, electricity infrastructure, engineering, construction and transportation sectors.
“At this Discover Global Markets event, you will have the opportunity to hold one-on-one meetings with the US companies and the US government officials to present opportunities in Nigeria to the US suppliers and the US project prime contractors looking to grow their business,” the US agency stated in a letter to the NGFCP manager, which was sighted by our correspondent.
Derefaka stated that the government sought to further cut down on the country’s gas flare rate, adding that unveiling the opportunities in the NGFCP to investors at the forthcoming forum would in one way or the other support the move to commercialise gas flare.
Gas flare figures released recently in the monthly financial and operations report of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation showed that oil companies in Nigeria were still flaring the commodity.
Flare gas is essentially associated gas that is produced with oil, as they both come out of the ground. But flare gas pollutes the environment, causing sickness and other environmental hazards, particularly in locations where international oil companies operate such as the Niger Delta.
The FMPR said it recently contacted the 205 firms that were certified as being qualified out of the 850 interested parties in the programme.
The ministry disclosed this in a letter titled, ‘Approval of submission of Statement of Qualification’ in response to the request for qualification package of the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme in the ministry.
In one of the letters signed on behalf of the ministry’s permanent secretary by the Director, Special Duties/Alternate Chairman, NGFCP, Andrew Agi, he told the bidder that “following your submission of Statement of Qualification in response to the request for qualification package of the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme, I am directed to inform you that your application is successful. Consequently, your company has been adjudged qualified for the next stage.”
Derefaka stated that the opportunity to present the NGFCP to the United States government and investors was a huge one for Nigeria in the pursuit of gas flare commercialisation.
He noted that the NGFCP would boost liquefied natural gas production; increase power generation, among others, when fully implemented.
The NGFCP manager said, “It could potentially unlock two to three liquefied natural gas trains, around 3000 megawatts of electricity generation as well as generate about 600,000 metric tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas per year, giving six million households access to clean energy through the LPG.
“The programme could also bring inflow of new infrastructure players to enable gas uptake and usage in previously unreachable regions and business development from gas companies to unlock new domestic markets for gas.”
The former Technical Adviser, Refineries, Gas, Power and Downstream Infrastructure to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Rabiu Suleiman, also stated recently that a lot of companies had been showing interest in the commercialisation programme.
According to him, the Federal Government has received statements of qualification from 240 firms, from which 205 parties have made the final screening.
Authored By: Okechukwu Nnodim