Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers (NSChE), has described natural gas as a catalyst that would facilitate industrial development in Nigeria, with a call on the federal government initiate policies that would promote investments in natural gas production.

Rising from a workshop held at the Nigerian Gas Company Plc, in Delta state, the Edo/Delta states chapter of the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers also called on the federal government to initiate policies that would promote investments in natural gas production.

In a communiqué issued after the meeting, the engineers further noted that there is the need for the government to reduce gas flaring in facilities in the country. This, the engineers stated, would be achieved through partnerships with investors from more developed nations, adding that that would help Nigeria maximize the benefit of its oil and gas resources.

The group said at the end of the Hybrid (physical and virtual) workshop said was absolutely necessary to it was absolutely necessary to monetize associated gas using Micro LNG (up to 0.05 mtpa) and Mini LNG (0.1 to 0.5 mtpa).

The workshop paper titled ‘Natural Gas as a Catalyst to the Industrial Development of Nigeria’, delivered by  Mark Tubotein Williams and moderated by the chapter’s executive secretary,  Dr. E.O. Ohimor,  examined the monetization options available to Nigeria’s 209.5 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves.

The paper noted that “Natural gas has increasingly become part of Nigeria’s energy mix but the process is very slow because current exploitation and production efforts are below 1 % of available gas reserves due to poor investments in the gas sector.

“In 2021 alone, Nigeria produced a total of 1450 billion standard cubic feet of natural gas which represents about 25% of EU’S Russian gas consumption in the same year. The EU has decided to do away with Russian gas and is looking for alternative sources of natural gas supply.

“It has become imperative for Nigeria to fully exploit her natural gas reserves to boost her economy and meet growing gas demand in the domestic and global markets.

“Nigeria can be industrialized with attendant creation of thousands of professional jobs if she adds value to its natural gas resources by employing a range of available technologies namely: gas to power, gas to compressed natural gas, CNG, gas to LNG, gas to liquids, GTL, gas to chemicals, gas to fertilizer, GTF, and gas to petrochemicals.”

The chapter stated that NICHEM Ventures, the business arm of NSChE may consider investing in the business of gas processing.

It called for the transmission of its recommendations to all presidential aspirants to serve as springboard for the implementation of the Nigerian Gas Master Plan and to formulate formidable policies to harness the huge gas resource.

“In fact processes of natural gas into ammonia, methanol, the economics of the conversion, dimethyl ether (DME), etc. are attractive enough to consider these natural gas by-products as real vehicles to monetize Nigerian gas reserves,” the paper said.

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