ABUJA, December 24, 2004 -- The Shareholders of West African Gas Pipeline Company Limited (WAPCo) met in Abuja last week and took a Final Investment Decision (FID) for the implementation of the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) Project.
FID ushers in the Construction Phase of the Project. The FID completion includes the funding for the Construction Phase and the award of the major construction contracts which took place today.
Before the actual start of construction, detailed final project design will be carried out by WAPCo in collaboration with the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Contractors. It will take approximately two years to complete the construction of the pipeline. Operational start up is expected by December 2006.
FID signifies the endorsement of the harmonized investment environment for the development of the pipeline among the four countries. The FID announcement also recognizes the tremendous and co-operative efforts made by the Governments of Benin, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo, the Shareholders and WAPCo Management, the local communities as well as a wide range of other stakeholder groups to move the pipeline project forward.
This announcement marks a significant milestone in West Africa's continuing economic development. Commenting on the importance of the milestone, Engr. Funsho Kupolokun, Chairman of the WAPCo Board and the Group Managing Director of NNPC said: "The West African Gas Pipeline Project demonstrates what can be achieved through cooperation and partnership amongst neighboring countries and the private sector. It is also a practical demonstration of the spirit of NEPAD, to which our four countries subscribe".
The WAGP will be a 678 km onshore and offshore high pressure transnational pipeline which will transmit natural gas from Nigeria to customers in Benin, Ghana and Togo. The pipeline is expected to have a maximum capacity of 470 MMscfd. WAGP will be built, owned and operated by WAPCo. The shareholders of this company are: ChevronTexaco West African Gas Pipeline Ltd (38.2%); Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (26.0%); Shell Overseas Holdings Limited (18.8%); Takoradi Power Company Limited (17.0%).
The Project, which is estimated to cost US$ 590 million, has had a long pre-development period dating back to 1995 when the Governments of Benin, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo entered into Heads of Agreement (HoA), under the auspices of ECOWAS, for the joint development of the pipeline project.
WAGP is being driven by the shared vision of the four States and WAPCo, to make available clean, abundant, stable and cost-effective natural gas supply from Nigeria as fuel for power generation and industrial development in Ghana, Togo and Benin.
It is also expected to accelerate regional economic integration of the ECOWAS countries and establish a reliable energy infrastructure to attract further investments into the region.Much has been achieved by various partners and stakeholder groups to reach this stage of the Project. It is the hope of WAPCo that these co-operative efforts, support and goodwill among the partners and stakeholder groups will be sustained into the future as the project moves into implementation. Upon successful execution, WAGP will bring substantial benefits to the West African Sub-Region.