By Dikchi Franklin, in Owerri.
A $700 million gas project being developed in Imo State by Seplat Petroleum Development Company, an indigenous independent oil and gas company in Nigeria, will transform the state’s economy in all spheres, Bryant Orjiako, the company’s chairman, has assured.
The construction of the multi-million dollars gas process plant has commenced in the oil producing Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of the state and Orjiako led a strong management team on a visit to Governor
Emeka Ihedioha in Owerri Tuesday.
As a gas developing and commercializing company the trickle down effects of the project in the state would help in transforming the state in all spheres.
He urged the Imo government, as well as the people of the state, especially the host communities, to give the required cooperation and enabling environment for the project to materialize.
“Shortly after we acquired our asset in Imo State in 2016, the asset OML53, which was originally owned by Chevron, we have incrementally ramped up the production from less than 3,000 barrels per day. We are currently doing 9,000 barrels per day. We are hoping that in the next 12 months we should be thinking of 15,000 barrels per day and that is the beginning.
“More importantly we emphasize that we are a company that commercializes gas and also develops it and as at today, we produce 30 percent of gas to power in Nigeria and we are the only indigenous company doing this,” he explained.
According to Orjiako, Seplat took an investment decision early this year to invest $700 in the ANOH project phase one, which is to be situated in Imo state, adding that the project had been in the pipeline for decades but that once Seplat took over the asset, it made it a priority.
“Obviously, the trickledown effect of that project in Imo state is capable of completely synergizing with your vision for the state and will transform development in Imo state. What we expect is to have the right cooperation and for Imo state to also position itself and create the right environment for us to do business,” Orjiako told the governor.
Austin Avuru, Seplat’s chief executive officer, explaining the benefits of the project to Imo state to Ihedioha, promised that the company would fulfil its corporate social responsibility (CSR) to the state and
especially the host communities as the company had succeeded in Edo and Delta states.
“We will build trust with the communities and also build trust with your government, we will not come to disturb you, probably you won’t see us again but your key cabinet personnel will monitor the things we do and
report back to you. We supply one-third of the gas to plant in Nigeria.
We are building another one of 75 MMscfd in Sapele, we will build this one in Ohaji Egbema because we supply gas to the domestic market,” Avuru said.
According to him, most companies offer token to buy peace. “We don’t do that,” he said, adding, “Those that are fighting us in Sapele, we fought them. Those who are going to work with us we work with them. When those
who are fighting us saw what was happening to those working with us, they turned around to work with us. We don’t pretend.
“We give you jobs we can do and develop your capacity to do bigger jobs.
We will like to see the growth of indigenous capacity in delivering jobs, that’s how we operate and our flagship corporate social responsibility programmes like the ‘Eye can See’ programme is the most famous medical outreach in Edo and Delta states, we have a system and structure that can handle problems,” Avuru said.
Governor Ihedioha commended Seplat for the choice of Imo and promised to provide all enabling environment and support for the project to thrive.
“We want to assure you of our sense of dedication and commitment to grow private sector business in our state to encourage investments. Ours is a disciplined administration and we dare say that we are not greedy.
“We understand the responsibilities of businesses to a state and we also understand the point of convergence and understand how civilized relationships can be built. So we are ready and set for civilized
collaborative relationships,” said Ihedioha