Local content initiative received a boost from Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, which reconfirmed its commitment to build a $5m jetty in support of the pilot pipemill being promoted by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board in Polaku, Bayelsa State.
The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Mr. Ernest Nwapa, was quoted in a statement on Wednesday as saying this while recently hosting members of the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) on oversight visit to the Board in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
Nwapa said the jetty would be used for shipping raw materials and finished products from the 250 metric tonne pipemill being located in the same area with the Shell Gbaran Ubie’s gas plant and the National Integrated Power Plant.
He said Shell had begun technical assessment of the land preparatory to the construction of the jetty; adding that the jetty construction was part of the wide ranging industry support for the pilot pipemill and other developmental initiatives of the NCDMB.
Already, the 10 hectares of land acquired for the project is being prepared for civil works after bush clearing , according to Nwapa, who explained that the pipemill would create over 1,000 direct jobs and several thousands of indirect jobs for Nigerians as well as provide an invaluable platform for training Nigerians.
“The mill will also supply pipes for the over 2,000 kilometres of new gas pipelines to be laid in the Gas Master Plan, replacement of aged existing pipes, as well as supply pipes for the numerous fertilizer, Liquefied Petroleum Gas and gas to power projects planned for the next few years,” Nwapa said.
Responding to questions from the committee members led by their chairman, Senator Emmanuel Paulker, Nwapa explained that the Board was focusing on developing local capacity that would ensure that industry jobs were executed in-country and employment created for qualified Nigerians.
Nwapa stressed that the existence of local capacity and manufacturing of components of industry equipment was a way to grow Nigerian Content, create employment from the industry and reduce dependence on importation for industry operations.
Other initiatives of the Board, according to the Executive Secretary, include the ongoing projects-based training programmes for welders, carpenters, fitters and other professionals, who will participate in the construction of the board’s headquarters building.
According to him, the board is working to establish Nigeria Oil and Gas Industrial Parks in close proximity to the oil fields to spur Small and Medium Enterprises, to grow their capability in manufacturing through partnerships with multi-nationals and Original Equipment Manufacturers.
“We intend to use the industrial park model to establish physical infrastructure and create enabling environment for low-cost manufacturing of equipment components, with a view to maximize utilization of Nigerian made goods in the oil and gas industry; and to integrate community entrepreneurs into oil and gas value chain,” he said.
In his comment, Paulker described the Nigerian Content Act as one of the most important legislations passed by the legislature in the past few years and promised that the Senate would support the board in every possible way to ensure that stakeholders comply with provisions of the Act.
Information from Punch was used in this report.