The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) says the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline project will be ready in the third quarter of the year.
The group chief executive officer (GCEO), Mele Kyari of NNPCL, said this on Monday during an inspection tour of one of the project sites located in Kogi.
The AKK gas pipeline and stations project is a flagship project aimed at deepening the integration of the country’s northern region with the Niger Delta and other parts of the country.
TheCable in a report had said the national oil company had planned to deliver the project in the first quarter of 2023, but according to Kyari, NNPCL had encountered security and terrain challenges.
He said NNPCL had spent over $1 billion on the project and was committed to proving those who had called the pipeline a ghost project wrong.
According to him, the AKK gas pipeline is expected to transport two billion standard cubic feet of natural gas per day to three proposed independent power plants in Abuja, Kaduna, Kano, and other gas-based industries.
“We’ll shame them, this project will be delivered. We’re not scared of their comments and they’re just typical of our country’s reaction to things that are going well,” Mr Kyari said.
“We thank our crew, our contractors and staff who are doing everything to deliver this project and we appreciate the great work that they’re doing.
“For the benefit of the Nigerian public, this is one of the most massive projects that we’ll run in the company, it is of immense proportion of value to our country and to the socio-economic growth of our country.
“We know that this is a must-deliver project, this project has not stopped for one day and we continue to fund it despite the fact that we do not have third-party financing on this project.
“We have so far spent over $1.1bn on this project from our cash flow. We’re a commercial company, we have inter-company laws, this company can fund this project so we do not need any support, we’ll deliver.
“As we speak now, we don’t owe a dollar to our contractors today. We paid all their invoices. There are over 30 active sites today in this project, and we are very hopeful and optimistic that we will deliver this project.”
He further disclosed that the pipeline would be energised in the third quarter of the year.
Mr Kyari also said security challenges have been encountered in the course of the project, and some men have been lost men.
“We are so sorry to their families. We continue to share their grief but despite this we have gotten massive support from our country’s security agencies — the Nigerian army, the Department of State Services and all other agencies — to ensure our workers work safely and that we’re also able to continue this project uninterrupted,” Mr Kyari said.
“By the third quarter of this year, we’ll complete the entire welding of these works and what it means is that we can actually energise these lines.”
Other identified and proposed commercial off-takers along the entire pipeline route will also be connected to the pipeline, he added.