Seplat’s $700m ANOH gas investment to address Nigeria’s power deficit

Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc’s planned $700m Assa North /Ohaji South (ANOH) gas and condensate field project, at completion, is expected to contribute significantly in addressing Nigeria’s deficit in thermal power delivery.

This project straddles OML 53 (seplat 40 per cent working interest and operator) and OML 21 (Shell JV).

In a presentation titled ‘Stability, Performance, Growth’ the team of three presenters provided the audience with comprehensive information on the company’s existing gas business, market outlook and anticipated ANOH growth trajectory.

The ANOH gas processing project is managed by Anoh Gas Processing Company (AGPC), an incorporated joint venture (IJV) between Seplat and the Nigerian Gas Company. AGPC shall develop a 300 Mscfd midstream plant on OML 53 to process future wet gas production from the upstream unit.

The company was represented at the forum by its Chief Executive Officer, Austin Avuru; Chief Financial Officer, Roger Brown; and the Managing Director, AGPC, Yetunde Taiwo.

Avuru, in his address, said Nigeria holds 37 per cent of total proved gas reserves on the continent, adding that the majority is concentrated in the Niger Delta.

According to him, Domestic Supply Obligation (DSO) price has increased to commercial levels and non- DSO prices are determined on a willing buyer/willing seller basis; opening up new vista of growth for the seplat’s gas business.

The seplat CEO said: “Nigeria is one of the largest economies in Africa with a population today in excess of 201 million; 50 per cent are urban dwellers while 62 per cent is less than 25 years in age and 93 per cent is less than 55 years in age.

“Projected to grow to a population of 450 million people by 2050 (highest population growth in Africa) and become the third most populated country globally (behind only China and India). This will spur a high demand from power industries and other commercial enterprises.

“Current capacity deficit in thermal power generation provides immediate headroom to place additional gas volumes (significant installed but non-operating generation capacity seven per cent royalty on gas revenues as opposed to 20 per cent on oil production”.

He said government’s ambition of using gas as an enabler for energy independence, industrial development, commerce, environmental and social sustainability is a real GDP growth driver for Nigeria, and would reduce production cost with reduced power costs to businesses, raise standard of living, develop human capital, and reduce environmental degradation and health risks.

The AGPC, according to Roger, is a special purpose company formed to raise $420m of equity to derisk the project; of which equity investors – Seplat and Nigeria Gas Company- granted equal share 50:50 in AGPC.

The Seplat CFO illustrated that it is essential to correlate a company’s funding model and business model citing the company’s proactive pay back of its equity debt in the early years as a good example. remarkable, he said.

Roger said equity and debt are to be scaled in line with final project cost whilst maintaining a target debt:equity ratio of 60:40.

On the funding arrangement, Roger said local banks were on board the project including but not limited to: UBA, Zenith, Stanbic, Fidelity, FCMB, FBN, Access Bank, Union Bank and Nova.

He added: “International lenders include but not limited to: SCB, RMB, Standard Bank, BHGE, and Nedbank.”

According to Taiwo, AGPC schedules synchronizes with Seplat upstream development plan.

The AGPC boss stated: “ANOH is unitized 50:50 across the two blocks. Shell is the operator of the upstream unit. AGPC shall deliver a 300 MMscfd midstream plant on OML 53 to process future wet gas production from the upstream unit.