The bustling Lagos Free Trade Zone (LFTZ) has scored a major coup, attracting a multi-million-dollar gas distribution project that promises to fuel industrial growth and unlock new economic opportunities for the region.
This infrastructure, initiated by Optimera Energy, aims to provide 25 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscuf/d) of natural gas to companies within the zone. The project, set for completion and inauguration by the last quarter of 2024, seeks to address the energy access challenge and high operating costs in the LFZ.
BusinessDay findings showed the Federal Government, through Ekperikpe Ekpo, the minister of state for etroleum Resources (Gas), and Olu Verheijen, the special adviser to the President on Energy, yesterday, flagged off the construction of a gas distribution infrastructure at the Lagos Free Zone (LFZ).
Optimera Energy had previously entered into a 20-year gas infrastructure development agreement with the Lagos Free Zone Company. This agreement outlines plans to expand gas distribution within the zone from 25mmscf/d to 40mmscuf/d and eventually to 100mmscuf/d, following a phased development approach.
Speaking during the groundbreaking ceremony held at the zone on January 9, 2024, Audrey Joe-Ezigbo, the managing director of Optimera Energy, disclosed that the infrastructure is comprised of a 25MMScf/D City Gate Station, scalable to 100MMScf/D.
She said the facility would also have necessary ancillary infrastructure which includes 10km distribution line within the zone as well as a 6.5km x 10 inches gas pipeline from the Escravos – Lagos Pipeline System tie-in point in the Lekki corridor outside the zone to Optimera City Gate Station at the Lagos Free zone.
Joe-Ezigbo revealed that Optimera Energy signed a 20-year Gas Infrastructure Development Agreement (GIDA) with the Lagos Free Zone Company (LFZC) to connect off-takers to their gas distribution infrastructure within the zone.
“The LFZC has invested over $2.5 billion in building a world-class facility integrated with Lekki Deep Seaport in the Zone, and we are excited to be part of this infrastructural development in our nation, Nigeria, particularly as this project is fully aligned with the nation’s Decade of Gas aspirations,” she added.
According to her, Optimera Energy was established to address gaps in energy access while creating sustainable value for its stakeholders.
“We are committed to championing Nigeria’s energy transition to cleaner fuels by leveraging on the Nation’s abundant Natural Gas low-carbon resources.
“We are working to ensure that Nigeria’s Natural Gas resources are responsibly and efficiently utilised from the upstream and downstream sectors of the value chain.
“Our mandate is to execute projects to deepen domestic Natural Gas consumption and utilisation in Nigeria and across Africa,” she added.
The development is facilitated through a Special Purpose Vehicle called Optimera Energy LFZE, a consortium comprising three Nigerian gas firms—Falcon Corporation Limited, First Hydrocarbon Nigeria (FHN) Gas Limited, and ND Western Midstream Limited while Bloomfield Law Practice is providing legal counsel.
In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of Lagos Free Zone Company, Mr. Dinesh Rathi, stated that the groundbreaking was a critical milestone for them at the zone.
He said the project would enable the company to get one step closer to its goal of providing reliable and cleaner energy solutions to meet the needs of existing and future tenants at LFZ.
“With the start of commercial operations at Lekki Port, delivery of piped natural gas to each enterprise at LFZ would further realise our vision to be the preferred industrial hub in West Africa with world-class infrastructure,” Rathi stated.
Highlighting the importance of the project to Nigeria’s social, and economic development, Ekpo described the project as a significant milestone in the country’s journey toward a more sustainable and energy-efficient future.
While congratulating Optimera Energy for its visionary approach and commitment to advancing the nation’s energy landscape, the minister explained that the development of a 25 million standard cubic feet per day City Gate Station, scalable to 100 million standard cubic feet per day, along with the necessary ancillary infrastructure, reflected not only the company’s dedication but also a shared vision for a thriving and resilient Nigeria.
“Natural Gas is a pivotal component in our energy matrix, offering cleaner and more efficient solutions. The infrastructure we are launching today is not just about pipes and stations but about powering communities, industries, and dreams,” he said.
According to him, it is about creating a foundation for economic growth, job creation, and environmental sustainability. “It is about making Nigeria an economic giant using our abundant gas resources.”