BARRING any last minutes change of plans, the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) train 7 may come on stream in 2018.
The NLNG is jointly owned by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), 49 per cent, Shell (25.6 per cent), Total LNG Nigeria Limited (15 per cent) and ENI (10.4 per cent).
At an interactive session in Lagos, the Managing Director of NLNG, Bab Omotowa said: “I think it will take about three years, at the very least, to build it to capacity because of course, our upstream gas suppliers need to go through the processes of approving their contracts, constructing their gas fields, funding and all of those activities and that timeline takes some time.”
He explained that the stakeholders of the company nearly closed the investment decision in 2008 but were challenged by some issues such as availability of the gas and ability of upstream gas suppliers to meet the demand.
Explaining further, he said: “NLNG Train 7 has been in conception stage for a while. I think it was in 2008 that the company was actually closed to Final Investment Decision (FID). Unfortunately, there were lots of conversations on clarity on domestic gas that were required. Conversations around gas availability and opportunity to also get the upstream gas suppliers were the reasons for the delay at that time. However, work has continued ever since then. We are making progress and, currently, all the stakeholders are fully committed. The stakeholders in term of upstream gas suppliers are committed and we are working through the processes of assuring gas supplies, tendering for the contracts to build the plant and so many other things. So, we are optimistic that in a few years time the project will be on stream,” he said.
He said that the upstream gas suppliers are going through a number of processes of approving their contracts, constructing their gas fields and sourcing for fund.
Speaking on the fate of Olokola and Brass LNG, Omotowa lamented the delay of the multi-billion dollar projects.
He said:” I think what is rather unfortunate for those three projects is that they have the potential to create close to 50,000 jobs during the construction phase and they would have generated a significant amount of revenue because they would have brought in even more volumes than NLNG is currently producing. We are currently at 1.6 billion tones and those three projects would have done more than that. I think the delay of these projects have not been an advantage to the country”.
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