The Nigerian Petroleum Development Corporation (NPDC), the main subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Monday said it had begun operations at its Integrated Gas Handling Facility (IGHF), which would help minimise gas flaring in the country.
NPDC stated that apart from reducing gas flaring, the plant had the capacity to convert the commodity to revenue.
Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer, loses $2.5 billion (N950 billion at official exchange rate, N380/$) every year to gas flaring from 178 flare sites, according to Africa Energy Portal, a trend that makes the country seventh on the list of the world’s top flaring countries.
Besides constituting environmental hazards via air and noise pollution, gas flaring is second only to carbon dioxide in terms of its impact on global warming, while the black carbon emitted through the process is said to account for more than 7 million deaths every year from air pollution.
Mansur Sambo, the managing director of the NPDC, told reporters during a media tour of the IGHF in Ologbo, Edo State that the gas produced at the plant and sold locally was paid for in naira, compared to the past when it was paid for in dollar.
“The project will bring significant change to the income of the NPDC. It will bring significant change to the environment because we are substantially taking away the amount of gas that would have been flared,” Sambo said.
“Today we are converting it into naira. You may ask me why naira? We are an indigenous company and we are happy to take naira. Today, naira is even more scarce than the dollar.”
He added that even though the project would be inaugurated on Tuesday, NPDC had kicked off operation at the plant.
“We are already selling gas and we want to be ahead of our competitors by making it easy for people who lift gas.
“Before now, most of the gas liftings are from Lagos. So this will ease even the traffic congestion you have in Lagos. For businessmen it will give them a faster turnaround time,” Sambo said.
He went further to say only about one per cent of the more than 200 million standard cubic feet per day of gas produced at the facility was being flared relative to the national gas flaring of around seven per cent.
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