Uduaghan Urges Peace as Repairs on Escravos-Lagos Pipeline Begins
GOVERNOR Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State at the weekend resolved the impasse over the repair of the damaged Escravos-Lagos pipeline that supplies gas to the nation's power plants as the contractor handling the work returns to site today.
Uduaghan said the repairs of the pipeline, which conveys gas to Lagos, would help in meeting the target of 6,000 megawatts that is expected to stabilise power supply by December 2009.
Speaking at a stakeholders' meeting in Warri with Gbaramatu elders and chief officers of the Joint Task Force (JTF), Chairman of Warri South-West Council, Mr. George Ekpemuokpolo and oil companies, the governor stressed the need for a conducive environment to enable repairs to be effected by the contractor, De Wayle's International Limited.
Uduaghan, who stated that Shell and Chevron have already embarked on the repair of their damaged pipelines, assured the contractor that adequate security would be provided by the JTF.
He said the government was aware that power was a critical issue and the worsening situation was leading to a shortfall in gas production occasioned by vandalism of pipelines in the aftermath of the May 13, 2009, military bombardment of Gbaramatu.
Representative of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Voke Mukoro, disclosed that the nation was losing 180 million cubic feet of gas daily as a result of the damage to the Escravos-Lagos pipeline.
Meanwhile, efforts aimed at generating 6,000 megawatts of electricity that will translate into nationwide steady power supply has received a boost with a gas processing plant soon to be established at Utorogun, Delta State.
Already, Delta State government has given land to the contracting firm, South Field Gas and Power Limited, which is expected to complete the project in 15 months.
Managing Director of South Filed Gas and Power Limited, Dr. Patrick Ndiomu, who at the weekend briefed Uduaghan when the chairman, Senator Musa Adede, led a team of the company's management to Governor's Office Annex in Warri, said on completion, the plant will provide gas to power stations across the country.
Ndiomu further said that with the abundant gas reserves in Nigeria, the Utorogu Gas Processing Plant alongside the Oben Gas Processing Plant that was on-going in Edo State, will account for 80 per cent of gas supply to power stations in the country.
He also stated that the gas processing plant was part of the national gas master-plan and was intended to improve electricity generation.
In his remark, Uduaghan thanked President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua for approving the establishment of the gas processing plant in Delta, adding that "the Utorogu community is excited and waiting for the commencement of the project".