NLNG works on Train 7 FID

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By Sopuruchi Onwuka

Africa’s biggest gas liquefaction and export company, Nigeria NLNG Limited has declared imminent conclusion of its final investment decision (FID) on multi-billion dollar Train 7+ with which it intends to grow it production capacity by 8.0 million tons to 30 million tons per annum.

General Manager in charge of External Relations, Dr. Kudo Eresia-Eke, explained in statement that FID on the additional trains could be achieved as early as next year.

The Oracle Today reports that the company’s plan to build additional trains to boost its capacity to control bigger space in the global gas market suffered crippling obstacles following protracted government-industry dispute over proposed policy, fiscal and legal changes.

Policy changes which sought to deemphasize gas export for domestic supply as well as changes in fiscal regime proposed in the stalled Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) pushed back investors who had pulled the wallet for gas liquefaction projects in the country.

The changes led to stalled Olokola LNG, Brass LNG and NLNG 7 &8 (Plus) projects.

With the period policy and fiscal disputes raged, other African countries including Equatorial Guine and Angola, seeing the rapid successes recorded by NLNG, initiated greenfield LNG projects that have secured regional and continental markets.

However, with the role of NLNG in pulling the nation’s economy out of recession after the last presidential elections, government appears to have reached full understanding of the position of the company that both domestic gas programme and export projects could be driven simultaneously by different commercial players in the industry.

NLNG is owned by four shareholders, including the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) which holds 49 equity stake, Shell Gas B.V. with 25.6 percent stake, Total Gaz Electricite Holdings France 15 percent, and Eni International N.A. N. V. S.àr. l which holds remaining 10.4 percent.

Dr. Eresia-Eke stated that the management of NLNG has full support full support of the company’s Board in making steady progress towards achieving FID on its capacity growth projects by 2018.

The company stated at World LNG Summit in Portugal that the new phase of the company’s strategic growth programme would on completion upscale NLNG’s annual production capacity from the current capacity of 22 mtpa to 30 mtpa.

Speaking at the Summit, Tony Attah, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria LNG Limited said, “With Nigeria’s proven reserves of about 192 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and another 600 trillion cubic feet in potential, this milestone development is coming at a crucial time.

“ I am excited about this development which would not be possible without the support of our Board and shareholders, the shared vision within our company of helping to build a better Nigeria; our core values of Integrity, Teamwork, Respect, Excellence and Caring; the commitment of our staff; and the cooperation from Governmentand other stakeholders including our loyal customers.

“This milestone would symbolise many things. We have consistently shown the world that NLNG is a world-class company, operating out of a globally strategic country, safely and reliably delivering clean energy to its customers. Secondly, and most importantly for Nigeria, it shows that it is time for gas; This is the time to unleash the country’s gas potentials through catalysts like Trains 7 Plus to spur socio economic transformation.

“NLNG remains a success and we are determined to sustain our status as an inspiration to Nigeria. The company has generated $90 billion in revenues as well as paid $5.5 billion in taxes to the government. The company has also has helped monetise the country’s gas resources and significantly contributed to reducing gas flaring from 65% to less than 20%,” he remarked.

NLNG runs an integrated plant on Bonny Island where its current six liquefaction trains share common facilities including storage tanks, shipping capacity and loading jetties with a gas intake of 3.5 billion standard cubic feet of natural gas per day.

The company has so far converted over five trillion cubic feet of associated gas, which otherwise would have been flared, to liquefied natural gas (LNG) and natural gas liquids (NGLs) for both export and domestic use. It isNigeria’s most significantnatural gas utilization intervention to date,which ishelping to preserve the environment and support Nigeria’s economic growth.

From an initial investment of about $6 billion, NLNG has grown into a $15.6 billion investment with an asset base of about $11billion.

At a stage in its transition from a 2 (two) train facility to its current 6 (six) train structure, the NLNG facility was recognised as one of the fastest growing such projectsin the LNG world as well as supplier of about 13% of global market supply.

Currently, NLNG is serviced by a committed fleet of23 LNG vessels which is the largest fleet in the sub-region. This is inclusive of six new vessels, constructed in South Korea and delivered between2015 and 2016 as replacements for sixmaturing vessels within its operations inventory.

In addition, NLNG has contributed significantly to the domestic LPG industry, supplying some 40% of cooking gas to Nigerian homes and businesses. This intervention continues as part of strategies and initiatives.

All these have beenachieved with a management staff entirely made up of Nigerians and a workforce which is 95% indigenous.

Through its social investment programmeon which some $200 million has so far been spent, NLNG is helping to improve lives in its immediate environment on Bonny Island and elsewhere across Nigeria.

The company recently flagged off a road project in collaboration with the Nigerian Government to construct a $392 million 34 kilometreroad which will connect several communities in the mainland of Nigeria’s Niger-Delta region to Bonny Island, which was hitherto only accessible by sea.The project was formally flagged off by Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, and is the biggest CSR initiative ever by a private company in the country.

Furthermore, NLNG has also recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Bonny Kingdom for the economic development of the Kingdom over a 25-year period. In that MOU, NLNG committed N3 billion per annum, cumulatively more than $245 million in 25 years to the Bonny community. This will also increase the number of direct and indirect jobs and improve the quality of life on the island.

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