Nigerian LNG to take delivery of four carrier ships this year

Aug 4, 2015 Nigeria’s Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) has set plans in motion to expand its exports capacity before end of the year.  This was made known by its chief executive officer. NLNG, which ships over 250 cargoes of LNG a year, contributes around 7 percent of global supply and accounts for 4 percent of Nigeria’s GDP.

The company signed an agreement with South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries and Hyundai Heavy Industries to acquire six LNG carrier ships, an acquisition which will cost in the region of $1.2 billion.

The company’s chief executive, Babs Omotowa said that NLNG is also in talks with South Korea Export and Import Bank and other lenders to facilitate this expansion.

Omotowa went on to explain that the global market for natural gas has been shadowed by liquid gas, due to the ease of storage and shipment of the liquid form. He added that LNG has been forecasted to grow to 430 million tonnes per year by 2030 from the present 230 million.

On the backdrop of this forecast, Nigeria, which has the world’s fourth-biggest LNG plant, wishes to capture some of that by expanding its market share to more than 10 percent.

“We’re currently at about 7 percent of the world’s LNG market. With our growth projects train 7 and train 8, we hope to expand our capacity by 40 percent and take us back to over 10 percent, we used to be about 10 percent in 2008 so the train 7 and train 8 would bring a 40 percent additional capacity and re-position us but we hope to even grow beyond that so we don’t expect to stop at train 8, in reality, the initial designs of LNG had up to 12 trains in the designs so hopefully we will even grow more,”

NLNG, which is owned by Nigerian state oil firm NNPC, Royal Dutch Shell, France’s Total and Italy’s Eni, has a production capacity of 22 million tonnes of LNG a year.

Omotowa also shed some light on local challenges such as the lack of infrastructure and challenges in government funding

I think the competitive landscape is indeed getting stronger which is good for us because it enables us to demonstrate our abilities, we are a very reliable operation, we are very efficient as well so I think competition is growing but locally in the country of course we continue to have challenges, infrastructure challenges locally as well as some of the regulatory challenges that we face locally but we’re working through all of that and we are confident that we will continue to remain one of the most admired and preferred LNG plants in the world,

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