Oando Kicks Off Construction on Nigerian Gas Pipeline Project
In line with its aspiration of building Africa's largest gas infrastructure in Nigeria, Oando Gas and Power, has commenced construction work on its 128 km South East gas pipeline project in Calabar, Cross Rivers State.
The project which will be executed by its subsidiary, East Horizon Gas Company Limited (EHGC), will connect to the existing Obigbo – ALSCON line at Ukanafun Local Government of Akwa Ibom State and will run about 128 km through Akwa Ibom State and Cross River State. The pipeline project will involve major civil engineering works as it crosses eight major rivers and some swamp locations before terminating at the new United Cement Company factory (UNICEM), located at Mfamosing, near Calabar. Already, the impressive logistic feat of moving 128km of steel pipes from the ports to the staging areas has been completed without incidence.
In addition, Oando Gas and Power has obtained the Right of Way for the pipeline routes from the Ministries of Land and Housing of both the Cross River state and Akwa Ibom state governments.
In strict adherence to constituted procedures, EHGC, in conjunction with the Nigeria Gas Company, (NGC) and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) have concluded an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Open Forum as part of its statutory requirements for the granting of an Oil Pipeline License (OPL) for the project.
The EIA Open Forum, conducted in a question and answer environment, afforded the community an opportunity to inquire about the East Horizon's safety records, procedures and policies as well as their operational capabilities and ability to execute the project without any negative impact on the community.
Assuring the community of EHGC's high safety standards, Mr. Bolaji Osunsanya, Managing Director, Oando Gas & Power stated, "We have successfully built a 100 kilometer gas pipeline in Lagos state which has been operational for over 6 years without any incident. We intend to replicate what was done in Lagos by our sister company, Gaslink Nigeria Limited, to assure the safety of lives and property in the area."
The following safety procedures amongst others will be in place when laying the pipeline for the project:
- Adequate Depth of Cover: the depth of cover for the pipeline will be 1.2m into the ground, thus ensuring that no accidental digging will lead to a rupturing of the pipeline.
- Additional protection to the pipes will be provided via a 3-layer polythene protection
- Pathway of the pipelines will be properly marked to ensure no accidental digging is done along the pipeline route.
Commenting further, Osunsanya added, "Natural gas is the most attractive energy source in the world today and offers itself as a cheaper, cleaner and safer alternative, when compared to other sources of energy. It is also an energy source whose usage is increasing because of its unique qualities, in terms of safety, reliability, cost and environmental friendliness. I can also assure you that we will be executing the best of community relations programs just as we did in the Lagos pipeline project."
The 128km gas pipeline which is presently being constructed will have the United Cement Factory in Calabar as its primary customer. The factory, which is currently under construction, is scheduled for completion in 2009 and will utilize Natural Gas supplied by East Horizon Gas Company for both its power and process requirements.