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NIGERIA - Proposals.

Nigerian planners have for years been promoting new projects in the petrochemicals sector. Apart from those under Phase Three, ventures envisaged since the early 1990s have included methanol and MTBE plants.

Many companies had expressed an interest in petrochemical ventures, including ExxonMobil, Shell, ChevronTexaco, Methanex and Penspen. One project considered in 1992 was to build a $400m export-oriented methanol plant using gas produced by Chevron.

The plant, with a capacity of 2,000-2,500 tons/day, was to be a joint venture between NNPC, Penspen, and Mannesmann of Germany, with Chevron invited to have a stake as well. At the time, it was said that ICI had guaranteed purchase of the methanol for at least 10 years after production start-up, which was planned to begin in 1995. The project did not materialise.

Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN), the second biggest oil producer in Nigeria, had since 1993 discussed a plan to have a methanol complex built near its gas plant on Bonny island with a capacity of 900,000 t/y. This was to be part of the second phase of its development of the Oso gas/condensate field in Eket, east of Port Harcourt (see Gas Market Trends No. 6).

Other projects envisaged by Mobil were an MTBE plant and an ammonia/urea complex. Proposals for these ventures, based on consultancy work done by Mobil Corp. of the US, were presented to the military government in 1993.

The ammonia/urea project continues to figure in ExxonMobil's list of possible ventures in Nigeria, which include a gas-fired power plant to be an IPP. ExxonMobil has no doubt about the potential for petrochemicals demand in Nigeria, with a population of almost 130 million expected to exceed 238 million in 2025 and plenty of cheap gas to provide the feedstock. But it has had major concerns about the non-commercial risks and lack of incentives.
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Publication:APS Review Downstream Trends
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 18, 2003
Words:311
Previous Article:NIGERIA - The Petrochemical Sector.
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