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JANUARY 29, 2010

The Board Room of the 35, Kofo Abayomi Office Complex in Lagos was like a beehive of activities in the afternoon of Friday, January 29, 2010 as history was made with the signing of the O.U.R. EPSCC Contract between TEPNG and the ZAKHEM BAYWOOD Joint Venture Ltd.

The O.U.R Gas Pipeline is a 45.6 km high pressure gas line of 42" diameter routing from Obite to Ubeta then Rumuji within the Niger Delta Region 80 km north of Port Harcourt.

TEPNG's Managing Director/Chief Executive, Mr Guy Maurice, signed the documents on behalf while Messrs Albert Zakhem and Chris Baywood Ibe, Managing Directors of ZAKHEM Construction Nigeria and BAYWOOD Continental signed on for their companies respectively.

In his welcome address, the Executive General Manager, JV Onshore of TEPNG, Mr Joel Hervochon, expressed his happiness with the ceremony and implored members of the O.U.R. Project and ZAKHEM BAYWOOD Joint Venture Teams to efficiently collaborate to the contract completion.

In his key note address, Mr Maurice reiterated that it was with great pride and honour that TEPNG was awarding to ZAKHEM BAYWOOD Joint Venture Ltd, a Nigerian company, "this major contract for the Engineering, Procurement, Supply, Construction and Commissioning of the O.U.R. Gas Pipeline". He said the project highlights the company's contribution towards the Nigerian government's priority to develop and monetize gas, while equally lending its unhindered drive for domestic gas and future distribution to the national domestic gas network. Mr Maurice told his audience that TEPNG strongly believes in Sustainable Development and deliberately monitors and ensures that the impact of its projects builds local capacity in all forms. He also declared: "The O.U.R. Gas Pipeline will cross many communities within the Niger Delta region and TEPNG is confident that the project execution will positively contribute to local development of these areas, and TEPNG will maintain it image of a socially responsible company that takes its societal responsibility seriously." Mr Maurice noted that the company was looking forward to the commencement of the works with the Nigerian contractors, with the trust that within 24 months from that day, the results of the successful and timely completion of the O.U.R. Gas Pipeline Project would be shared.

After the signature of the contract, the General Manager, Onshore Projects, Mr Ahmadu Kida Musa, during his project briefing, went down memory lane when he said that the Projects Directorate of TEPNG had been looking forward to that day's ceremony since 2005, a situation which he said made the signing ceremony "a special occasion". He said the thrust of the project is mainly to increase the transportation capacity of gas produced from OML 58, and declared: "We have broken ranks by the signature of this contract." He reiterated the seriousness the project attaches to Nigerian Content, commended TEPNG's record in capacity building, implored the contractors to deliver on schedule and stated: "Let us co-operate together in a seamless way." He warned that issues of Safety; Health, Safety and the Environment as well Security would not be compromised.

In their remarks, the Managing Directors of the two companies that make up the JV expressed the confidence TEPNG has in their ability to complete the project on schedule as technical partner.

In his Vote of Thanks, the O.U.R. Project Manager, Mr Stephane Devincq, thanked all stakeholders for their unflinching efforts. "I am proud to be part of this important Project for Nigeria" he declared. He said that challenges and expectations are high also affirmed his confidence in the ability of the contractor to deliver first class job.

The slideshow below completes this story.

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