Delayed paper works by the Federal Government, represented by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, and contractors, among other things, are delaying the commencement of the $15bn (N2.39tn) Ogidigben gas-based industrial park.
The Federal Government and the private sector are expected to invest $15bn in a 2,700-hectare gas-based industrial park in Ogidigben, Delta State. The contractors were supposed to have moved to the project site since June.
The Group Executive Director, Gas & Power, NNPC, Dr. David Ige, during the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas, United State in May, said the clearing of the site and preparatory activities would begin in June.
He had said, “Though this project is late relative to our timing, we are making progress. Our plan is that in the next one month or two, we are going to move to site for site clearing and construction will begin.
“The Ogidigben Industrial Park will have a fertiliser plant, a petrochemical plant, a central processing facility and a power plant of 350-megawatt capacity. There will be big commercial and residential areas. It is going to be the biggest gas-based industrial park in Africa.”
However, our correspondent gathered on Monday that the proposed project had yet to start because of delays in the paper works.
When contacted, Ige told our correspondent that the Federal Government and the contractors were putting finishing touches to the paper works and would soon move to the site.
“As mentioned at the conference, we will be commencing site activities at Ogidigben very shortly,” he said.
The executive director further said that the government and the contractors were “finishing up the relevant paper works to get the contractors going. We are almost there. We will inform you shortly.”
Ige, while speaking during the OTC, had reiterated the importance of the project to gas industrialisation in the country as well as the Nigerian Gas Master Plan.
He said the central processing unit and the fertiliser plant would be ready by 2017.
The intention of the project, he insisted, was to have a purpose-built gas industrial city for the utilisation of the country’s gas resources and stimulation of gas-related industries.
Pursuant to the delivery of the Gas Master Plan infrastructure blueprint, Ige said, “We put an advert out on gas supply pipeline network to complement the existing ongoing infrastructure development. Specifically, the advert is for the Eastern-Northern network, which concludes our first phase of a cross-Nigeria gas pipeline backbone. The estimated cost of the project from Calabar to Kano via Ajaokuta and Obigbo is about $4.5bn to $5bn.”
The Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Export Processing Zone Authority, Mr. Olugbenga Kuye, in an interview with Sunday PUNCH, listed the Ogidigben Industrial Park as one of the free trade zones whose applications were awaiting approval.
Information from Punch was used in this report.