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Nigeria to buy gas containers from Amarillo company

The Amarillo plant manager Steve Bartlett, has disclosed that GTM Manufacturing officials are in negotiations to sell high-pressure gas containers in Nigeria if  the negotiations go well, GTM production would increase, potentially creating dozens of new jobs in Amarillo, he said.

The technology of the GTM would be good for Nigeria,” said E. Edward Okpa II, a Nigerian-born U.S. citizen who is an international businessman with an interest finding American companies, especially those in Texas, to help Nigeria. Okpa has campaigned twice for Dallas mayor.

Okpa described himself as the glue in this project. Most natural gas is wasted in Nigeria because the country lacks the infrastructure to trap it, clean it and transport it.

He learned of GTM’s gas containers through Bill Beakley, who’s on the company’s board of directors, and proposed the project to Chief J. Mobolaji St. Matthew-Daniel, a retired chairman of an oil and gas company.

The Nigerian government owns all the natural gas. St. Matthew-Daniel and GTM would be part of a team working with the government to create a market for natural gas, boosting the power supply in Nigeria and exporting the natural resource.

GTM officials met Wednesday in Amarillo with Okpa, St. Matthew-Daniel and his wife, Dorothy St. Matthew-Daniel.

The best way to transport natural gas is typically through a pipeline, Okpa said. Nigeria has little pipeline, and building a pipeline is expensive. GTM would create a pipeline on wheels, Okpa said.

Beakley said the idea is to create a team to capture and distribute natural gas. GTM would handle the logistics, but would need to bring in other vendors, he said.

GTM Manufacturing’s plant in Amarillo produces gas transport modules, or cylinder compressed gas transportation modules constructed from welded steel pipe and conventional steel end caps. The tubes are encased in fiberglass and mounted into shipping containers that can be transported by truck, rail or sea.

In Nigeria, the vessels would allow natural gas to be transported for use by hospitals, resorts, hotels and apartment complexes, GTM officials said.

One significant issue for Nigeria is in having a stable power supply, said J. Mobolaji St. Matthew-Daniel. The supply of electricity is so erratic that the country experiences outages that might last a few hours or a couple of days. Collecting and transporting natural gas could provide a more stable source of power. Having a stable power source could lead to more jobs, which is significant for a country with many in poverty, he said.

Oil spills are another problem, said Dorothy St. Matthew-Daniel. She noted the attention given to the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

“We’ve been having it for years,” he said.

The oil spills and burning of natural gas leads to health hazards that dissuade investors from coming to Nigeria, she said.

“If this is taken care of, this is a snowball effect,” Okpa said.

The vessels are a green technology that offers the country lots of possibilities, he said.