● Says “Zakhem will strengthen R&D, professional development needed for sustained top-notch project delivery”
● Tasks FG on continuous engagement of indigenous technical expertise
The Board and Management of a leading International Engineering, Procurement and Construction, Investment Group, Zakhem, have commended the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on the completion of the Escarvos – Lagos gas pipeline project of three hundred and forty two kilometers, adding that the continuous engagement of indigenous companies will afford them the opportunity to showcase their technical competence while also giving rise to national economic development.
Zakhem, which won much acclaim for successfully executing the mechanical completion and commissioning of the 36’’ x 342Km Escravos – Lagos Gas Pipeline Project, through its Managing Director, Mr Uba Saidu Malami said the project, which has capacity to add 2.2 standard cubic feet of gas to the market was executed under Zakhem’s corporate policy of Professionalism, Safety and Quality delivery.
He further assured that the company will continue to strengthen its technical capacity through experience, Research and Development (R&D), while also building the capacity of staff and create opportunities for indigenous host communities participation.
While agreeing with the NNPC Management that the recent completion of Escravos – Lagos Gas Pipeline will sustainably address challenges associated with supply of natural gas to various power plants in the country, Zakhem opined that the pipeline infrastructure it constructed will stand the test of time, adding that “Zakhem has successfully constructed a number of major oil and gas pipelines around the world, totalling in excess of five billion US dollars.”
“Zakhem Construction Nigeria Limited stands out as an indigenous Nigerian company with Africa as its scope, and has demonstrated outstanding technical expertise in its areas of specialisation,” he said, adding that “for over forty-six years, the Zakhem Group has served the Oil and Gas industry, and through its world-wide branches has established an international reputation in the fields of engineering, procurement and construction of onshore gas pipelines, storage tank farms, gathering and pumping stations, refineries and industrial plants.”
The Managing Director said Zakhem’s cross-country pipeline activities include proven experience in major Road and Swamp Crossings, the installation of pipelines across major river crossings by the horizontal directional drilling technique among other methods, and laying of pipelines across extensive rocky terrains through controlled precision blasting, adding that “the skills, experience and resources gained over the period, combined with a remarkable track record of completed high quality work, are the reliance of Zakhem Group in undertaking and successfully accomplishing the delivery of major projects around the world.”
The Managing Director commended the foresight of the NNPC for identifying the various assets that will be instrumental in delivering 4.5 billion scf of gas.
He said: “It is commendable that the NNPC has announced a policy decision to invest $3.5 billion in a petrochemical and fertilizer project that will give rise to a capacity to process 300 million scf of gas,” adding that the Zakhem aims add value to the effort by deploying its technical expertise and its long-standing reputation of research and development in the gas pipeline industry.
Evaluating the initiative of the NNPC to establish brass gas hubs in the country, the Managing Director said the plan, which aims to ensure unmitigated availability of gas in the country, will maximize the potential of the country for economic development and wealth creation through its abundant gas resources.
Discussing how the proposed gas hubs will address Nigeria’s power sector challenges, he noted that “the Nigerian power sector consumes the highest volume of gas in line with what is obtainable in continental Europe, America and Japan,” stating that gas infrastructural facilities in Nigeria are owned by government.’’
“So there is no doubt that the gas hubs will address the inadequacy associated with development and management of the energy sector, a problem that has been responsible for supply-demand gap in spite of abundance of energy resources in Nigeria.”
“The gas industry in Nigeria is still developing, and we foresee the importance of the role that government is playing in trying to develop it through its various interventionist policies and projects such as the recently proposed gas hubs and the Escarvos-Lagos pipeline.”
Further discussing how the proposed gas hubs will invigorate the economy, he said: “Generally, the gas sector contributes to economic growth in two ways, namely, being a strategic part of the energy sector, it creates jobs and value by attracting, transforming and distributing energy goods throughout the economy.”
“Also, the availability of gas impacts the entire national economy by providing direct and indirect jobs,” adding that the gas sector has deep supply chains and high pay, indirect and induced jobs represent an imported part of its overall economics contribution.
These impacts are in the area of employment opportunities, industrialization, contributions to government revenues, Gross Domestic Product, foreign exchange reserves, supply of energy to industry, agriculture and social welfare in terms of home use.
He said it is in view of these viable opportunities that Zakhem is poised to enforce its resolve to further engage in R&D, improve its capacity and capability to collaborate with relevant authorities in the realization of Federal Government Policies for sustainable growth in the Oil and Gas industry.
“Zakhem participation in NNPC successful completion and looping of Escravos-Lagos Pipeline Project is one of such collaborative efforts that we are pleased to be involved,” he added.