President Muhammadu Buhari will on Tuesday flag off the construction of the $2.8 billion Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) National Gas Pipeline Project, a move that will realise the long held aspiration of building the nation’s biggest domestic gas transmission infrastructure.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) initially announced tenders for the project in July 2013. A project proposal was submitted to the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission in June 2017, and the Federal Executive Council (FEC) granted approval in December 2017.
The 614 kilometres gas pipeline conceived to provide the highly desired stimulus to domestic industrial growth will be delivered by a consortium of indigenous and international engineering firms.
The project will be in three phases. Phase One is 200 kilometres-long, between Ajaokuta and Abuja, at a projected cost of $855 million. Phase Two is 193 kilometres-long, between Abuja and Kaduna, to cost an estimated $835 million, while Phase Three is 221 kilometres-long, between Kaduna and Kano, at an approximate cost of $1.2 billion.
According to Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity), Femi Adesina, the project will eventually reach North Africa in subsequent phases.
Pipeline giant, Oilserv Limited, has been awarded the engineering, procurement, construction, installation, testing, and commissioning of the first segment of the 614 km x 40-Inch Gas pipeline, which is from Ajaokuta to mid-way between Abuja and Kaduna. The second segment has been awarded to another company.
The project, according to NNPC, will significantly curb gas flaring in the Niger Delta and guarantee better air quality in the oil producing region.
In addition, the pipeline which was conceived to connect demand from the northern part of the country with supply from the south will mark a significant shift in the nation’s energy policy; from revenue targeted export programmes to development focused domestic supply programmes.
Therefore, in the short term, the AKK will ensure energy sufficiency for domestic commerce and industry, and in the long term, having deepened and satisfied domestic demand, morph into an export pipeline and economic mainstay.