The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva on Thursday, unveiled the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) Gas Hub and performed the groundbreaking ceremony of Rungas LPG Composite Cylinder Manufacturing plant, located inside the Gas Hub at Polaku community, Bayelsa state.
The Rungas Gas Hub is sited at the 10.6 hectares of land which the Board had purchased at Polaku Community in 2013 for the purpose of establishing a pipe mill.
Discussions with various investors regarding set up of the pipe mill did not yield desired results, thereby forcing the Board to re-strategise on how to utilise the land for productive uses.
Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of Rungas plant, the Minister stated that the project was in furtherance of the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to diversify the Nigerian economy by developing the nation’s huge gas resources across the entire value chain.
He commended NCDMB for re-strategizing to utilize the 10 hectares of land for gas-related projects, adding that the event is a practical step being taken to give effect to the Federal government declaration of 2020 as year of gas.
Commenting on the proximity of the NCDMB gas hub to the Shell Gbarain-Ubie gas plant, Sylvia hinted that it will provide opportunities to leverage and activate value adding initiatives.
“The location of this land is close to the Gbarain Gas Plant that produces more than one billion standard cubic feet per day of gas; that provides opportunities to leverage on the proximity to activate value adding initiatives and lead to industrialization and multiple economic activities.
Commenting on the groundbreaking of Rungas Prime limited facility, Sylva said achieving LPG penetration across Nigeria will require targeted interventions directed at both the demand and supply end of the LPG value-chain.
He mentioned that it is a pragmatic step towards achieving Federal Government’s agenda of LPG penetration towards making LPG the preferred choice for cooking fuel.
The Minister indicated that the manufacturing plant will have the capacity to produce between 400,000 to 1 million LPG composite cylinders per annum and in turn make composite LPG cylinders accessible and affordable to Nigerians as well as create employment opportunities during its construction and operations phase.
Sylva assured Rungas and other stakeholders that the Ministry of Petroleum Resources was committed to supporting the success of the manufacturing plant, adding that a committee had been set-up to drive the National Gas Expansion Program to make Nigeria the gas hub for the African continent.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote explained that the Board developed a 10-Year Strategic roadmap in 2017 and commenced its implementation in January 2018, with an ambitious goal of achieving 70 percent Nigerian Content level by the year 2027.
He said: ”Technical Capability Development is one of the pillars of our Strategic Roadmap meant to facilitate the building of manufacturing facilities and capabilities to support in-country manufacturing and assembly of equipment and input materials required for exploration and production activities’’.
Wabote explained that the strategic roadmap provided the leverage to use the Polaku land for gas related activities and partner with Rungas Limited to setup LPG Cylinder Manufacturing plant; Shell Nigeria Gas to set up Pressure Reduction and Metering Station and Total Support Energy Limited for the provision of CNG and LNG mother-stations.
Shedding more light on the Board’s new strategies for the Polaku land, Wabote stated that “within a year of changing the direction towards gas, we have finalised partnerships with three investors with four hectares of the land already taken up.
He mentioned that these activities will contribute to our drive towards the 70 percent Nigerian Content and creation of job opportunities and other economic activities.
He congratulated Rungas Prime Industries Limited and other stakeholders for taking the bold step to bring the facility to Bayelsa State.