• Monday, May 20, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Nigeria set for gas revolution, flags off industrial park

imagFG

All is now set for Nigeria’s major gas revolution with the flag off of the Gas Industrial Park in Delta State, South South Nigeria, which will create five million jobs. President Goodluck Jonathan who finally performed the ground breaking ceremony for the Gas Revolution Industrial Parks (GRIP) in Ogidigben and the Deep Sea Port in Gbaramatu, said the project is also expected to create about 150,000 direct and indirect jobs during construction.

The President said the yardstick for measuring the success of the project will be the number of jobs to be created. The park is expected to consist of industries which will produce fertilizers, petrochemicals, methanol and other related products. This is expected to replace the nation’s dependency on crude oil. It will also house four well scaled fertilizer projects that has the potential to make Nigeria the largest fertilizer exporter in the next four years.

The four well scaled fertiliser projects in various developmental stages in Nigeria include indorama fertiliser, Dangote fertiliser, Nagajurna fertiliser and Brass fertiliser. With this portfolio, Nigeria is now positioned to be Africa’s largest producer and exporter of fertilizer within the next four years, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dieziani Alison-Madueke, said, adding that Indorama would start production this year while the others would follow by 2017 . The industrial project will span 30 square kilometres when finished . It will also be developed in phases and will house common services such as a water treatment facility, a gas central facility, residential estates, amongst others.

Site activities have kicked off; GRIP which will be Africa’s first Industrial Gas city is part of the three point agenda of gas to power. The three point agenda comprises gas to power, gas based industrialisation and gas to export. The ground breaking ceremony of the project is coming after series of postponements as a result of crisis between the Itsekiri and other tribes in the Niger Delta. Two kingdoms (Itsekiri and Gbaramatu) had been at war over where the Deep Sea Port, which was to be christened EPZ Ogidigben, would be sited.

READ ALSO: Armed robbery in Lagos, Benin suburbs on the rise as police continue to stay away

After series of peace talks, it was agreed that the Istekiri kingdom would habour the GRIP while the Gbaramatu kingdom houses the Deep Sea Port part of the project. The Gas Industrial City Ogidigben and the Deep Sea Port, Gbaramatu have both been designated a free trade zone by the Federal Government. Industries located there will benefit from incentives such as tax-free status, low land lease rates, low gas rates, simple repatriation of dividends, infrastructure, access as well as stability and growth.

President Jonathan expressed optimism that the project which is believed will be Africa’s biggest gas industrial hub, would be executed to international standard and attract many gas related industries from across the world. In his speech, shortly before performing the ground breaking ceremony the President said it was his intention to make the project one of the world’s most desirable. The President set up a special steering committee, headed by the minister of Petroleum Resources, which will brief the Federal Executive Council on the progress of the project every week.

He noted that the two projects were siamese twins and could not be separated. “Without both communities agreeing, this project could not have happened” he said referring to the earlier crisis and promised that having worked so hard, government will ensure the completion of the projects.