By David Agba
The Rivers state government and Shell Nigeria Gas (SNG) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the distribution of gas to industries in the Greater Port Harcourt area and its environs.
The signing of the MoU was announced in a statement in Port Harcourt by Mr Bamidele Odugbesan, Shell Nigeria Media Relations Manager.
Mr Richard Hart, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, signed for the state government while SNG Managing Director, Mr Ed Ubong signed for the company
Odugbesan said that the MoU set out broad terms and conditions to guide the two parties in the development of new gas distribution opportunities in the Greater Port Harcourt.
According to him, the new gas distribution opportunities covered by the MoU is in addition to its existing distribution network in the state.
Hart said: “The agreement is key in the efforts of the government to boost industrialization in Rivers State.
“We believe that the agreed terms in the MoU will lead to the signing of the “Build-Operate-Own-and-Transfer” (BOOT) agreement early next year so businesses can begin to reap the benefits of a steady source of energy.’’
Ubong also said the partnership was an opportunity to further promote gas as a more reliable, cleaner and cost-effective alternative to liquid fuels in the Niger Delta.
He said that Gas was key to boosting industrialisation which in turn provided employment and improved livelihood.
Ubong said: “It is no coincidence that states that currently do well on internal revenue generation have also encouraged the use of gas to boost industrial output.
“SNG is grateful to the Rivers State Government for the foresight and co-operation in the signing of the MoU, and will reciprocate the gesture by taking every step to fulfil its obligations in the agreement.’’
Commenting on the significance of the MoU, Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr Osagie Okunbor, reiterated the leadership role of Shell in the domestic gas market.
“For more than 50 years, Shell has been in the forefront of the campaign to develop and monetise Nigeria’s huge resources.
“And it is good to see SNG continuing in the tradition to grow the domestic gas market and also help to improve lives and earnings in Rivers State,’’ Okunbor said.
SNG was incorporated in 1998 as a 100 per cent Shell-owned Company; the first and so far, only wholly-owned subsidiary of an international oil company involved in domestic gas distribution in Nigeria.
It operates a gas transmission and distribution network of approximately 120 kilometres that distributes natural gas to industrial and commercial customers.
A majority of the customers are located in Ogun, Abia and Rivers.
SNG facility is also ISO 14001 certified, the only gas distribution company in Nigeria that has attained the safety milestone.