Saturday, 27 July 2019

SEPLAT PETROLEUM PROMISES TO SOLVE POWER DEFICIT WITH $700M ANOH GAS INVESTMENT

A world-class oil exploration and production firm, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, has made it clear that the planned $700m Assa North/Ohaji South gas and condensate field project is expected to contribute greatly in solving Nigeria’s power shortage when completed.

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According to a statement, the project is managed by ANOH Gas Processing Company (AGPC), an incorporated joint venture between Seplat and the Nigerian Gas Company.

It said AGPC would develop a midstream plant, with a capacity of 300 million standard cubic feet of gas per day, on Oil Mining Lease 53 to process future wet gas production.

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In his address at a recent forum, the Chief Executive Officer of Seplat Petroleum, Austin Avuru, said Nigeria held 37 per cent of total proved gas reserves on the continent, adding that the majority was concentrated in the Niger Delta.

According to the Seplat Petroleum boss, Domestic Supply Obligation price has increased to commercial levels and non-DSO prices are determined on a willing buyer/willing seller basis, opening up new vista of growth for Seplat’s gas business.

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In his own words, “Nigeria is one of the largest economies in Africa with a population  in excess of 201 million; 50 per cent are urban dwellers while 62 per cent is less than 25 years in age and 93 per cent is  less than 55 years in age.”

He noted that the country had been projected to grow to a population of 450 million people by 2050 (highest population growth in Africa) and become the third most populated country globally (behind only China and India). “This will spur a high demand from power industries and other commercial enterprises,” Avuru said.

Noting the current capacity deficit in thermal power generation in the country, he described government’s ambition of using gas as an enabler for energy independence, industrial development, commerce, and environmental and social sustainability as a real GDP growth driver for the country.

He added that this would reduce production cost with reduced power costs to businesses, raise standard of living, develop human capital, and reduce environmental degradation and health risks.

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The Chief Financial Officer of Seplat Petroleum, Roger Brown, described AGPC as a special purpose company formed to raise $420m of equity to derisk the project. According to him, equity and debt are to be scaled in line with final project cost while maintaining a target debt to equity ratio of 60:40.

On the funding arrangement, Roger said local banks, including United Bank for Africa Plc, Zenith Nigeria Plc First Bank of Nigeria Limited, were supporting the project. “International lenders include but not limited to SCB, RMB, Standard Bank, BHGE, and Nedbank,” he added. 

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