Work begins on Bayelsa Oil & Gas Park project

 

•NNPC, NCDMB partner on contracting cycle reduction

 

Work has begun on the Nigerian Oil and Gas Park (NOGAP) at Emeyal-1, Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel IbeKachikwu performed the ground-breaking at the weekend. The Nigerian Oil and Gas Parks are being developed by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and will be built in five oil producing states, with the Emeyal-1 project as the second to take-off. A similar ground-breaking event was held early in March this year at Odukpani, Cross Rivers State. The other sites are located at Oguta in Imo State, Ikwe-Odio in Akwa Ibom State as well as Delta State.

The parks, according to the NCDMB, will generate about 2000 jobs at full operation and create a regional low-cost manufacturing hub that will produce equipment components and spare parts to be used in the nation’s oil and gas industry.

Speaking at Emeyal-1, the Minister said the Federal Government plans to develop similar projects in other parts of the country in order to extend the benefits to more Nigerians. He said: “We will work with the Board and provide everything that is needed for the projects. After the development of the five pilot parks in the Niger Delta states, we will extend this very innovative idea to other parts of Nigeria where oil has either been found or is being explored.”

Kachikwu said the initiative will send a message to investors that Bayelsa State is ready for oil and gas business, adding that the park will bring about localisation of indigenous companies, where fabrication, pipe milling, procurement hubs and oil and gas related technologies will flourish.

The NCDMB Executive Secretary, Simbi Wabote, confirmed that the “park occupies a land mass of about 25 hectares, which will comprise various warehouses, manufacturing shop floors and factories, training centre, hostels, administrative block, mini estate, security posts, fire station, including truck parking and holding areas”.

The park, he said, will be provided with uninterrupted power supply to address the electricity challenge which often besets most Nigerian manufacturers and businesses.

He described the ground-breaking as great step towards achieving one of the Board’s key mandates, adding that “this project will positively impact Bayelsa State in general and Emeyal community and its environs in particular. Citizens of the host community and environs will also benefit from on-the-job training opportunities.”

The NCDM chief appealed to the host community to support and defend the project for it to be completed on schedule, warning that it will be relocated if it faces unreasonable demands and disruptions.

Bayelsa State Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Kemela Okara, commended NCDMB for siting one of the oil and gas parks in the state. He acknowledged that NCDMB had been a veritable partner of the state and had contributed to the growth and development of people of Bayelsa. He said the government was determined to industrialise the state and will support every effort designed to complement its efforts. “As a state, we will support the execution of this project and ensure that there is peaceful and conducive environment to aid the speedy completion as planned.”

The Obanobhan III of Ogbia Kingdom, King Dumaro Charles-Owaba assured the Board that the community is peaceful and the project will not be disrupted. He solicited that more investments should be sited in the community to create employment for youths.

Also, the NCDMB and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will before the end of 2018 start using a one-stop shop arrangement for reviewing and approving oil industry projects and contracts to shorten the industry’s contracting cycle.

Kachikwu, who disclosed this at a meeting with top management of the NCDMB in Bayelsa State, explained that the collaborative approval process between NCDMB and NNPC will ensure that the target six-month contract approval cycle time is achieved, while the cost of crude oil production will also reduce.

He said:“If you look at the cost components we are trying to drive down from $28 per barrel, it is now $23 and we are targeting $15. We can’t achieve that if our bureaucracy is slow.”

The Minister commended the NCDMB for adopting the use of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with its key stakeholders, promising to ensure that other agencies within the Ministry of Petroleum Resources adopt the initiative, which will help to drive efficiency within organisations.

Kachikwu praised the collaboration between NCDMB and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), particularly on the development of modular refineries, which would help to address the perennial shortage of petroleum resources, create jobs and minimise the scourge of illegal refining.

 

[NATION NEWS]

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