By Etuka Sunday
Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru in Dubai, United Arab Emirates directed the Chinese Consortium and the NNPC Project Team on the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) Pipeline Project to ensure timely finalization of the term sheet for the project’s contractor financing agreement.
The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Ndu Ughamadu in a statement said, the Chinese consortium is made up of Bank of China and Sinosure.
Baru, who had to cut short his holy pilgrimage trip to Saudi Arabia for a stop-over in Dubai to meet with the Chinese consortium reiterated the need for both parties to ensure speedy conclusion on the details of the agreement towards its full execution during Mr. President’s state visit to China next month.
President Muhammadu Buhari is scheduled to attend the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit holding from the 1st to 4th September, 2018 in the Chinese capital, Beijing. The AKK Project will be top on Mr. President’s agenda.
The NNPC had earlier clarified that the execution of the AKK gas pipeline project is progressing under the original concept of 100 percent contractor financing model contrary to some media report of a possible resort to ‘’proceed of gas tariffs’’ as new means of funding because of purported collapse of negotiation with Chinese lenders.
The Corporation noted that the successful conclusion of the contractor financing terms would pave way for the historic ground-breaking ceremony which would take place after the conclusion of the front-end activities.
Already the Corporation had concluded the vital Front End Engineering Design (FEED) and the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report while work on the detailed engineering design is nearing conclusion.
Upon completion within a projected 24-month window, the NNPC stated that the AKK gas pipeline would enable connectivity between the East, West and North, which is currently non-existent.
It would also enable gas supply and utilization to key commercial centres in the Northern corridor of Nigeria with the attendant positive spin-off on power generation and industrial growth.