Kaduna State Government, on Thursday, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Gas Aggregation Company of Nigeria (GACN) to expand the supply and utilisation of gas in the state.

The MoU is the outcome of engagements between the state government, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and GACN in recent months.

Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai signed the agreement on behalf of the state government while NNPC Group Managing Director, Mr Mele Kyari signed for the company.

The aim is to extend the NNPC’s ongoing AKK gas project to cover industrial areas and some proposed gas power plants coming up in the state.

Kyari welcomed the initiative, saying it was in line with the NNPC’s focus to deliver gas into the domestic market.

“We know that it is the game changer for our country, particularly more so for Kaduna State,” he said.

He assured the governor that the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline, a key driver of the MoU, will be delivered on schedule.

“We know that very many industries that were in Kaduna have gone down, we understand very clearly that many of these industries went down because of unclear supply of energy,” he said.

“Therefore, it is a very important opportunity for us to focus on this and deliver gas into the market,“ Kyari added.

He said that the NNPC would also deliver gas to various industries and locations in the country.

“For us, the short term framework for delivering gas to the domestic market particularly in the Kaduna area is very critical and is very possible.

“In the long term, as soon as we are able to get done with the AKK line, gas will be available in the state and
new industries will spring up.

“And more so, we are planning on establishing our own power plant of up to 1,300 Megawatt in Kaduna,” the GMD added.

In his remark, El-Rufai said that the agreement with GACN will bring additional source of energy for businesses and residents.

‘’It will create jobs and provide skills for artisans who will work on the gas pipelines and associated infrastructure.

“Beyond that, this project will power the industries that have responded with enthusiasm to our investment promotion campaign”.

El-Rufai expressed Kaduna state’s commitment to the gas project, which he described as “a welcome boost to our investment and job creation strategy”.

The governor disclosed that the government has worked to create two new industrial areas in the state since 2015.

“The Green Agro-Allied Industrial Zone (GAAIZ) is located in Chikun Local Government Area, along the Kaduna-Abuja highway, while the Green Economic Zone (GEZ) is in Igabi Local Government Area.

“GAAIZ is already hosting investments like the Olam project, the fertiliser plant of OCP of Morocco and DPAN, the joint venture between Dangote Industries and Peugeot for vehicle assembly,’’ he added.

According to El Rufai, the African Development Bank will be financing the state’s Special Agro-Processing Zone within the GAAIZ this week.

“The Green Economic Zone is being developed as an industrial park for light manufacturing industries,’’ he further said.

The governor noted that gas provides cost-effective option for powering factories, homes and vehicles, assuring that “our industrial parks provide clear evidence that Kaduna is ready for gas”.

“The potential customers are here, and this gas expansion project will only attract more business customers.

“We expect that this gas project will also help expand power supply capacity and options in Kaduna state.

“It will provide feedstock for the 215MW power plant in Kudenda,’’ he assured.

El Rufai pledged that the government will also locate an 84MW gas power plant in Kudenda.

“The combined effect of these two power plants will be to make power supply more reliable in Kaduna state,” he said.(NAN)