Gasco Marine will soon open talks with lenders to secure N40billion through an infrastructure bond to expand into gas transportation and the development of a mini-liquefied natural gas plant, the company’s managing director has said.
The company which recently launched a N2 billion Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) plant in Oke-Sokori, Abeokuta, Ogun State to meet the demand of consumers in Ogun, Lagos, Oyo, and other southwest states, is deepening investments in the gas space after successfully delivering the plant 15 months from the date it started construction.
“There are so many opportunities in the gas space and our target is to raise N50billion through the infrastructure bond. The first drawdown was N10 billion and it used to build our CNG plant in Abeokuta and to expand our facilities here in Marina,” Bukola Badejo-Okusanya, the company’s managing director said in an interview with BusinessDay.
Okusanya said the company’s next phase of growth is expanding its CNG business, running a gas transportation business to take gas to industries outside the South West region. It is also planning the construction of a mini LNG plant.
Gasco Marine said it will fund some of its future projects the same it funded its previous project. It raised an infrastructure bond from pension funds after securing a sovereign guarantee from Infra Credit.
“We think that if we are able to meet our targets and deliver on the numbers we promise them we think that that second phase will be much easier for them to invest in our business,” said Okusanya.
The company plans to kick start these projects in the next three to five years but banks on its efficient project management system to deliver these projects ahead of schedule.
Gasco Marine secures its feedstock from the Nigerian Gas Marketing Company helped by its strategic location.
“We get gas directly from the Nigerian Gas Marketing company. We are located about 300meters from the Abeokuta City Gates. It is the main receiving facility in Ogun state. It is the location of NGC station that sends gas into Lagos, Agbara and some other areas. The advantage this has is that, we are the last to feel low pressure,” Okusanya said.
The company hopes to outdo smaller companies who lack the required gas infrastructure to take the feedstock directly from the gas pipeline. It is targeting manufacturing companies within the Lagos metropolis and free trade zones on the outskirts of Ogun State.
Okusanya said that while Gasco Marine is not just solely a CNG company, it will expand its ability its virtual pipeline capacity to take gas outside the southwest region.
“We truck the gas from our station through our compression plants to these locations to provide power for their operations or use for feedstock for their heat manufacturing process, ceramics, confectionary and fast food goods or as fuel but we are planning to do much more than that soon.”
Gas companies are finding opportunities in Nigeria’s epileptic power supply to provide a more efficient and cost-effective power to industries.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the NNPC spent N3.8 trillion or $12.4 billion importing petroleum products in 2018 and gas companies want a cut in the pie by displacing diesel with gas as the predominant plant feedstock.