Uche Usim, Abuja
The federal government achieved a major milestone on Friday as the Final Investment Decision (FID) for multi-billion dollar Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Train 7 Project (production line) was taken by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its partners.
The seventh train, which will increase LNG production by 35% will generate $20 billion into the government coffers, while creating 12,000 direct and 40,000 indirect jobs.
The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari who spoke at the event said President Muhammadu Buhari has tasked the NLNG to take the project to train 12 in the nearest future. The construction period after FID will last approximately five years with first LNG rundown expected in 2024. This decision, which has suffered 12 years delay, was eventually taken in Abuja in the presence of NLNG shareholders.
NLNG is an incorporated Joint-Venture owned by four Shareholders, namely, the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (49%), Shell Gas B.V. (25.6%), Total Gaz Electricite Holdings France (15%), and Eni International N.A. N.V. S.àr.l (10.4%).
The new achievement allows the expansion to increase the capacity of NLNG’s six-train plant from the extant 22 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) to 30 MTPA, with the award of contracts for the engineering, procurement and construction activities to follow the closure of bank and Export Credit Agency (ECA) financing, and the finalization of some key supporting commercial agreements expected in early 2020. The actualisation of the Train 7 Project comes as NLNG celebrates 30 years of its incorporation and 20 years of safe and reliable operations since exporting its first LNG cargo in 1999.
According to Tony Attah, MD/CEO of NLNG, “Train 7 is the crux of a growth agenda which will ensure the Company’s position as the 5th major supplier of global LNG is maintained, increasing value to its Shareholders and other stakeholders, as well as further reducing the gas that would otherwise have been flared, in fulfilment of its vision of ‘being a global company, helping to build a better Nigeria’”.
He further remarked that “over 12, 000 jobs will be created during the peak of construction, trade and commercial activities within the Niger Delta region equally receiving a boost as a result. The Project will also support the development of local engineering and fabrication capacity in the country. Other opportunities for local content include procurement, logistics, equipment leasing, insurance, hotels, office supplies, aviation, haulage, and many more.”
The company further noted that the project upon completion will support the Federal Government’s drive to diversify its revenue portfolio and generate more revenue from Nigeria’s proven gas reserves of about 200 Trillion Cubic Feet (Tcf).
In his remarks at the event, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari described the feat as remarkable, saying it would generate 40,000 indirect jobs when operational.
Also speaking, the representative of Shell management, Mr Henry Bristol said the company was extremely delighted to support the project, assuring that it would grow it to train 12. The representative of Total, Mr Mike Sangster said his firm was happy to be part of the efforts to grow NLNG by 50%.