* Shell says multi-billion Assa-North Gas Project key to Nigeria’s economic diversification
* As Gov Ihedioha pledges support to make project a reality
By Codratus Godson
Imo State now hosts Shell’s biggest oil/gas project which is expected to launch Nigeria into a gas revolution and help Nigeria actualize her quest for economic diversification.
The managing director and country chair of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Osagie Okunbor, who made the disclosure in Owerri at the weekend during a project briefing to the state governor, Emeka Ihediaha, said the multi-billion dollar Assa-North Gas Project described it as the company’s most important project at the moment.
The project, according to Okunbor, is key to driving the Federal Government of Nigeria’s ambition of marching away from a mono-economy through diverse industrial growth. He said; “It is premier amongst the ‘Seven Critical Gas Projects’ initiative led by the Ministry of Petroleum and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).”
The Assa North/Ohaji South gas project is a joint venture project involving SPDC, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Total E&P Nigeria Limited (TEPNL), Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and SEPLAT, a leading indigenous producer.
SPDC is expected to manage the upstream operations to produce 600 million standard cubic feet of gas per day, half of which will be processed at a new SPDC JV processing plant and the remaining half sent to SEPLAT for processing at the company’s new gas processing plant. The combined volume translates to almost 2,400 MW of potential electricity generation if used for power generation.
Shell is said to have to gone to give the new governor a first hand briefing of the kind of project popping up in his backyard.
The governor wasted no time to pledge the support of the government and people of the state for the success of the multi-billion dollar Assa North/Ohaji South Gas development project.
Speaking further, Ihedioha said, “We are determined to work with you to build the plant and to help Imo State fulfill its quota to the nation’s domestic gas aspiration. We are dedicated to making life meaningful for our people and to making Imo State investor-friendly. Imo State shall partner with you. We have a civilised state and our hands are wide open to welcome Shell back to your original home in Nigeria.”
At the meeting with the governor were the deputy governor, Gerald Iroha; chairman of Imo State Oil and Gas Committee, John Ottih; and SPDC’s directors — Toyin Olagunju and Igo Weli.
It was gathered that the governor was to name a liaison between the government and Shell to facilitate activities and reduce friction in the area so as to give the contractors space to deliver the international-standard facility.