NNPC’s gas master plan raises stable power supply hope
The countdown to increased power generation may have begun, with the East-West pipeline, popularly called Obiafu/Obrikon-Oben or OB3 pipeline, close to being completed.
The pipeline work has been completed and the contractors are working on the terminal stations, it was learnt yesterday.
The gas transmission pipeline system is being developed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and indigenous engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) companies.
The contractors are Nestoil (Lot A), and Oilserv (Lot B). The pipeline system is strategic as it will boost the availability of gas to fuel power plants, and at the same time deepen the availability of gas for domestic needs.
When completed, the 127km x 48-inch pipeline system with associated plant facilities will be the biggest diameter-inch gas pipeline in the country with capacity of two billion standard cubic feet per day of gas (2Bscf/d). But for some factors, including about 20 months’ delay in being given access to the “right of way”, the project would have been completed by now.
The pipeline system is a critical component of the Nigeria Gas Master Plan, which the NNPC has been nurturing over the past decade. Upon completion, it will transform the infrastructure landscape to a state that can enable domestication of natural gas demand and catalyse the economy into the world’s top 20 within a short time.
A project status update shows that the scope for Lot B is more than 80 per cent delivered and Oilserv Limited is on course to complete its scope by March 2018. This includes survey verification, bush clearing, welding and backfilling of its 65km stretch of pipeline, and backfilling.
Oilserv has also successfully crossed 15 major roads with width ranging from 5.02 meters to 26.73 meters via Thrust-Boring mechanism. Using horizontal directional drilling technology, it has also crossed two major rivers – 642meters of Asimiri River, and 724meters of Ethiope River. It is currently completing the crossing of the 1,200metres Jamieson River.
The excitement about the steady progress being made should not be lost on the nation. First, the dark days of power outage are fast coming to an end. The multiplier effect on industrialisation and economic growth is momentous. Second, this is the first time that the engineering design, and construction of the pipeline infrastructure system of this scale is being handled by purely indigenous EPCIC company,” the company said yesterday in a statement.
Frazimex Engineering, a local company, handled the engineering design for the 127km x 65″ pipeline system.
The NNPC has expressed strong satisfaction about the progress that Oilserv had made on the project.
Oilserv is the first and only Nigerian company to fabricate, install and commission the largest oil manifold station (36inch Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) Ebulu Manifold for SPDC). It is also the first Nigerian company to successfully execute pipeline repairs using Cofferdam and repair work using Hot Tap. When OB3 is completed, it will yet represent another “first” for Oilserv.