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‘Nigeria may emerge Africa’s top fertilizer producer by 2018’



THE full implementation of the gas master plan may position Nigeria as the largest producer of fertilizer in Africa by 2018, the Group Executive Director, Gas and Power, of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. David Ige, has said.

  Besides, Nigeria has grown its gas supply market from 300 million to two billion cubic feet per day (cfpd).

  Ige, who stated this in an interview with newsmen in Abuja, said that the gas master plan would increase the country’s earning from gas resources. 

  He attributed the increase in gas supply to successful implementation of the gas master plan.

   He described the plan as a policy document that has basically outlined government’s aspiration for the commodity.

   He said its implementation had already positioned Nigeria to be the largest producer of fertiliser by 2018 on the continent.

   According to him, the policy had impacted positively on the sector, adding that everything that was outlined in it was being implemented to the letter.

   “Basically today, we have an outlay of many fertiliser plants already positioning Nigeria to be the largest producer of fertiliser by 2018 in this continent. Those are the aspirations of the gas master plan; the master plan talks about regional export which had started in West Africa”.

  NNPC said recently that Nigeria has over 180 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of discovered reserves and up to 600 tcf of undiscovered gas reserves, noting that significant investment is planned to support expansion of the sector in the coming years. While increasing domestic power generation is a priority for the government, export capacity will also rapidly grow, particularly as new LNG projects are completed.

  The African Development Bank (AfDB) recently approved a loan of $100 million to Indorama Eleme Fertilizer & Chemicals Limited (IEFCL) to build and operate a gas to urea fertilizer plant located in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, that will serve markets in Benin, Brazil, Ghana, India, Nigeria, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. 

  The project will allow Nigeria, which relies heavily (80 per cent) on imported fertilizer, to progressively become self-sufficient and a major exporter. Ultimately, the project will act as a catalyst to support job creation in the area, in addition to striving towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals in the areas of food sufficiency and a cleaner environment.

  The IEFCL plant, located in the existing Eleme industrial complex, will produce urea to be sold in export and domestic markets. Other project components will include an 84-kilometre pipeline and a multipurpose jetty and terminal infrastructure at Onne Port, 16 km from the project site. The complex is expected to be among the most competitive production sites given the low feedstock price and economies of scale.

  Indorama Eleme Fertilizer & Chemicals Limited (IEFCL) is the Borrower and Project Company. It is owned by Eleme and Indorama. Eleme is Africa’s second largest polyolefin producer and has a majority market share of polyethylene and polypropylene in Nigeria complimented by exports to nearby countries.

  With this project, the AfDB also promotes small and medium enterprise linkages through the distribution supply chain for the domestic market. The project will create 3,854 jobs of which 250 are direct and 348 indirect local positions during construction and operation. Moreover, the IEFCL project will generate revenues for host communities, River State Government and Eleme employees as well as the Federal Government of Nigeria from dividends, taxes and foreign exchange savings through import substitution.

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