NNPC restores Escravos-Lagos gas pipeline as MEND vows fresh attack


The restoration of supply on the pipeline would enable an equivalent of about 1,505 MW of electricity to be generated and injected into the national grid.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, on Sunday said normal gas supply through the Escravos-Lagos Gas Pipeline System, ELPS, has been restored following the completion of repairs on the vandalized facility.

Acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the Corporation, Omar Farouk, said the repairs would enable the re-injection of almost 200 million cubic feet per day, of gas into the national gas grid.

Mr. Farouk said the reinstatement of normal supply of gas through the pipeline would boost the capacity of the NNPC and its partners to supply more gas for the generation of about 700 megawatts of electricity.

The NNPC spokesperson said the repair works effectively ended almost seven months of interruption in gas supply as a result of sabotage by unknown persons in Delta State.

On Sunday, the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta, MEND, claimed responsibility for the attack, and warned that the completion of the repairs should not be celebrated, hinting at the possibility of another attack on the pipelines.

“It is not yet uhuru for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, which has announced the completion of repairs on the Escravos-Lagos gas pipeline attacked by Hurricane Exodus,” the group said in a statement signed by spokesperson, Jomo Gbomo.

“Nigerians should not expect improvement in power availability through gas pipelines until the root issues that led to militancy in the Niger Delta have been addressed or discussed,” it warned.

The country’s power generation capacity was significantly impacted negatively, as most power plants, which relied on gas generated from the region, were forced to cut down on their operations capacity.

The successful repair of the ELPS means the NNPC would now be able to inject a total of about 430 mmcf/d of gas into the national gas grid for the generation of about 1,505 MW of electricity every day.

Mr. Omar said that the Corporation also completed the repair works on the pulverized Trans-Forcados Pipeline, which accounts for about 230 mmcf/d of gas. This volume is sufficient for use in generating the equivalent of about 805 mw of electricity.

Again, he stated that an additional 60 mmcf/d was expected within three weeks when ongoing repair works at the Utorogu gas plant was projected for completion.

He urged Nigerians to expect steady improvement in power availability through the course of the year, noting that despite short term challenges experienced as a result of deliberate pipeline sabotage, the gas sector reform was ongoing and on course.

Following the Federal Government’s directive for an accelerated implementation of the Nigerian Gas master-plan, there has been an aggressive infrastructure development drive on major gas facilities as part of the reforms of the commercial framework for the country’s gas.
The NNPC said over 400 kilometres of new gas pipelines have been completed in the last three years alone, with ongoing efforts to expand the pipeline capacity to enhance connectivity between various gas supply sources.

Mr. Farouk said all power plants initiated by the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN and National Integrated Power Projects, NIPP were now connected to gas pipeline infrastructure, while an additional 450 km of pipelines system were currently under construction.

Of this length, about 340 km was due to for completion between the end of 2014 and 2016.

“The ongoing gas infrastructure work is the most extensive the nation has ever seen, with many new kilometers of pipeline being added every day,” Mr. Farouk said. “Gas production and supply has also grown to an all-time high of 1500 mmcf/d from less than 500 mmcf/d in the last four years.”

He said the bulk of the new supply capacity was being directed to the power sector, with the non-power sector such as cement, manufacturing, others getting double increase in supply within the same period.

Unfortunately, he said the challenge of pipeline vandalism has continued to undermine the impact of these great efforts, pointing out that supply growth remained the priority of the NNPC and its Joint Venture partners.

He said however that several projects were progressing towards their target completion deadlines between June and September, 2014, assuring that before the end of the year, about 200 mmcf/d of new gas would be added to the national grid.

The trend, he noted, was expected to continue through 2015 when many more projects are scheduled for completion towards realizing the Federal Government aspiration of generating about 10,000 MW of electricity before the end of the year.

“The NNPC is assuring Nigerians that all efforts are being put in place to guarantee sustainable growth in gas supply, with particular focus to the power sector,” he said.

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