Optimera Consortium Sign $25m Agreement on Developing Gas Infrastructure in Lagos Free Zone

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By Ndubuisi Micheal Obineme

Optimera Energy Consortium led by Falcon Corporation, ND Western Limited, and First Hydrocarbon Nigeria (FHN) Gas Limited, have signed a Gas Infrastructure Development Agreement worth over $25 million in the Lagos Free Zone (LFZ).

The Consortium was established as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), to develop and operate its natural gas distribution network within The Lagos Free Zone. Promoted by Singapore-based Tolaram Group, Lagos Free Zone is the first private free trade zone in Nigeria. Centrally located in Lagos State, the commercial center of West Africa’s largest economy, the zone covers an area of 830 hectares.

According to the Chief Financial Officer, FHN, Kayode Olatunbosun, the investment, which is for the construction phase, would be funded through equity. He stated this during the agreement signing ceremony for the gas development infrastructure.

Speaking further, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Lagos Free Zone, Dinesh Rathi, said the Consortium, through their SPV, would deliver uninterrupted piped gas by early 2024 to all the enterprises within the Lagos Free Zone.

“We welcome the consortium on this collective journey towards unlocking Nigeria’s true potential,” he stressed. He added that in its continued efforts at Lagos Free Zone to provide a world-class industrial ecosystem that enhances the competitive positioning of Nigeria as a manufacturing hub, its partnership with the consortium of Falcon Corporation, ND Western Midstream Limited, and FHN Gas Limited, is a landmark development.

He stated that with the Lekki Port’s construction slated to be completed in December 2022, there was a need to secure a reliable arrangement to meet the energy needs of its fast-growing tenant base, expressing confidence that its partnership with the Consortium would help LFZ realize the same.

“This is a unique transaction in the history of Nigeria’s downstream sector wherein a consortium formed of reputable upstream, midstream, and downstream companies have come together to ensure gas supply to LFZ, the sunrise economic epicenter of West Africa. “

Furthermore, the Managing Director, Optimera Energy, Mrs. Audrey Joe Ezigbo, said, “The Optimera consortium is made up of like-minded shareholders passionate about a common goal: accelerating the further growth of domestic gas utilization in Nigeria. Having reliable dedicated gas supply infrastructure installed in the LFZ adds tremendous value to existing industrial concerns and will increase the Zone‘s attractiveness to future customers.”

Ezigbo said that the endeavor would be a big step towards actualizing the objectives of the ‘Decade of Gas‘ initiative, of which gas-based industrial growth is a significant part.

“The Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) provides the necessary regulatory environment for projects such as these to succeed in Nigeria. We look forward to working collaboratively with the Nigerian Midstream & Downstream Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) in this project’s development and operation phases,” she said.

She added: “The Consortium members bring over so many years of experience and expertise in operating across the Natural Gas value chain from upstream production in the Niger Delta to downstream distribution to industries in Lagos. Our dedicated Project Team will work diligently with a strict adherence to the highest standards of safety, operational excellence, and regulatory compliance to deliver this project on time and under budget, as we have done within our respective portfolios.”