The Rivers State government and Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited have inaugurated the Egi/Igburu Cluster Development Board for pipeline communities to SPDC’s Assa North Gas project.

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The Shell Petroleum Development Company in a statement on Sunday said the board was inaugurated in Port Harcourt on Thursday.

According to the oil major, the gas project has a capacity for 300 million standard cubic feet of gas per day and the potential to be one of the largest domestic gas projects in Nigeria when completed.

The State Commissioner for Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, Mr Elloka Tasie-Amadi, urged the newly elected officials of the CDB to use the opportunity of leadership to make positive impacts that would improve living standards in their communities.

“The state government is always available to support you. Always speak with your people, including the Community Trust Committees (which were also newly inaugurated). Adequate communication will ensure the buy-in of all your stakeholders,” he was quoted as saying.

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The SPDC General Manager External Relations, Mr Igo Weli, at the inauguration ceremony, said, “The Global Memorandum of Understanding that you signed today sets the framework for long-term partnership between SPDC JV and the Egi/Igburu Cluster.

“The GMoU runs on the principle of community-led development. Today, SPDC JV commits to providing funding to help you realise your community development aspirations.”

Represented at the ceremony by SPDC External Relations Manager for Projects and Opportunities, Dr Banji Adekoya, Weli asked the CDB to “be prudent and implement projects and programmes that will deliver maximum benefits to the Egi/Igburu communities.”

He added, “Note that government, SPDC JV and the communities that you represent will hold you accountable for the judicious utilisation of the development funds.”

“With the inauguration, SPDC reiterates the company’s commitment to the Assa North Gas Project and to making it an exemplary one, particularly in Nigeria’s quest for energy sufficiency, for power generation and industrialisation.”

According to the statement, the Assa North/Ohaji South gas project is a joint venture project involving the SPDC, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Total E&P Nigeria Limited, and Nigerian Agip Oil Company, and will result in a new SPDC gas processing plant.