Changing the narrative around local companies TEY_post_Maxwell_Oko

We are aware of the structural limitations within gas, but we want to unlock it through our EPCIC capabilities.

Maxwell OKO Group CEO and Executive Vice-Chairman ERASKORP NIGERIA

Opportunities in Nigeria’s gas transition

August 3, 2021

Maxwell Oko, executive vice-chairman of Eraskorp, talks to The Energy Year about how the company is leveraging Nigeria’s gas transition with its proposed integrated industrial complex (including its new lubricants and chemicals plant). Eraskorp develops projects in gas and infrastructure, as well as offering security services for energy assets.

In what ways is Eraskorp aligning with Nigeria’s gas quest and how does it aim to capitalise on this potential?
Eraskorp’s founding idea was to be an energy and infrastructure conglomerate. We needed a starting point and that’s why we started as an EPCIC firm involved in the construction of pipelines and storage tanks, facilities upgrades, etc. for IOCs and independents. To this end, we are trying to leverage the gas transition taking place in the country.
Nigeria is more of a gas nation than an oil one, with huge gas reserves that remain untapped. The government is trying to unlock them through policy initiatives. As a company, we see a lot of opportunities across the full gas value chain and this is why we have tried to make the commercial space around gas more valuable. We think we can leverage the government’s gas drive and exploit the country’s gas potential.
We are aware of the structural limitations within gas, but we want to unlock it through our EPCIC capabilities. Consequently, we are gradually shifting from traditional EPCIC into the gas infrastructure and processing business.

At what stage is the construction of your lubricants and chemicals plant?
Given the terrain, we’ve had to first deal with the challenges of land reclamation by way of sand-filling to a height of 3.5 metres by 8 hectares [80,000 square metres] with a 1.5-kilometre access road and a 367-metre shoreline protection along the River Nun as specified in the detailed engineering design. We expect to commence civil works immediately after the land preparation by the third quarter of 2021.
Procurement of the end-to-end lubes plant turnkey package is already paid for and fabrication is ongoing, awaiting the factory acceptance test and delivery to the site by the first quarter of 2022. We are still committed to commissioning by the third quarter of 2022, in partnership with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).


How can this space also be used to produce LPG?
As mentioned, our integrated industrial complex is a 50-hectare [500,000-square-metre] landmass with the first phase currently being developed on 8 hectares for the lubricants and chemicals blending in partnership with the NCDMB. Sitting in between Shell’s Gbaran Gas Processing Facility and the Nigerian Oil and Gas Park developed by NCDMB strategically positions us for domestic gas accessibility. The general land preparation is already ongoing while we progress discussions on a gas feedstock supply deal for processing of LPG.

What activities are you currently carrying out in EPC and security?
At the moment, we are onsite for the global maintenance of the NAOC Port Harcourt District cooling systems – land locations and constructing a 10-kilometre by 12-inch pipeline for swamp area operations for NAOC [Nigerian Agip Oil Company], while awaiting contract mobilisation for the procurement package of the shipping, mechanical, electrical and instrumentation (ME&I) installation and commissioning of the ANOH Gas Plant by SEPLAT.
Having just closed out the supply of smart meters for Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company, we have also for the first time in the Nigerian power sector developed an anti-energy theft system, called Intelligent Data Box (IDB).
Our security business provides integrated security services for the protection of critical assets and facilities. We provide our clients the entire security architecture, including monitoring and surveillance.
For example, we carried out a contract for Heritage Energy Operational Services (HEOS)/Salvic Petroleum Resources in OML 30, covering 87 kilometres of the Trans Forcados Pipeline, a major evacuation line for many producers in the region. We provided end-to-end security and surveillance for equipment, facilities, pipelines and manifolds for a period of two years.
In addition, we also provide security services for IOCs, having worked with Shell in the Soku field, and we are awaiting contract mobilisation for a three-year security contract with Chevron.

How can your Intelligent Data Box system help downstream clients prevent power theft?
Presently, we just finished the design and development of this anti-energy theft system. The Intelligent Data Box is a system that tracks energy usage, independent from the metering devices found on customer premises.
The issue is that certain customers are able to bypass the metering device and they use energy that is not being paid for. The Intelligent Data Box is a device that independently checks the variables and will generate an alert if there is theft going on in the system. It is a completely digital system, and we are the first company in Nigeria to offer this type of smart meter. It will definitely be an added value for the power downstream segment.

What is Eraskorp’s business strategy for the coming years?
Eraskorp has a diversified business strategy, but we also make sure there is high-level integration across our business lines. In addition, our diversification strategy drives us where opportunities are found, as solution providers. We aim to be a key player in the energy and infrastructure space and if we see potential in a certain area and find partners willing to work with us, we will invest in the opportunity. On this note, we are open to partnerships on key projects.
In the next three to five years, Eraskorp will be a much larger player in the energy industry, with our LPG processing, lubricants/chemicals plant up and running in our integrated industrial complex in Gbarain-Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

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