Dangote to invest $3b in energy sector
Chief Strategy Officer, Dangote Group, Dr. Abdul Muktar has disclosed the group’s intention to embark on $3 billion project for a 540-kilometre pipeline from Niger Delta to the Lekki free trade zone in Lagos.
Muktar, who disclosed this at the annual roundtable session of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (LCCI) Power Sector Group said, the project, which would come on board by the first quarter of 2019 aims at transporting three billion cubic metres of gas per day.
He further noted that to address the issue of pipeline vandalism, which is the major challenge faced by the energy sector, the pipelines would be offshore.
According to him, the relevance of gas power cannot be over emphasized, as lack of it can cascade into manufacturing issues and subsequent national economic concerns.
Muktar, who described the project as a game changer in the industry, advanced that apart from the scarcity of forex in recent times, power has primarily been the major challenge faced by the manufacturing sector. “And the problem we also have in the power sector is unavailability of gas.”
The Dangote strategy officer cited that only 25 per cent of the 250 million cubic feet of gas needed to run the Dangote cement plant per day is available, “this has made the company resort to coal and is not too environmental friendly.”
The project he said is necessary at this time because the jittery nature of the nation’s economy with another negative Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of -2.24 per cent recently released by the National Bureau of Statistics makes it three quarters of negative growth, which is disheartening.
He added that such growth had only been recorded in the country 29 years ago and that makes it critical.
The oil sector, he remarked shrunk by 22.1 per cent and for Nigeria to recover from the recession, the need to focus on manufacturing is paramount.
Reacting to Muktar’s revelation was the publisher of Africa oil and Gas Report, Toyin Akinosho, who noted that Dangote’s timeline of 2019 for the project is unrealistic, “though the pipeline construction is realistic with them, but not likely in 2019, perhaps in 2021 0r 2022, because they have not taken final investment decision, but Dangote people would not like to say that, and more so they do not have a guaranteed gas supply for the three billion cubic feet per day.”