Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited has been advised to consider getting the first output of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from its upcoming Train 7 to the market in 2022 instead of 2024 which it recently said was its target.
This advise, according to a global energy business expert, Mr. Dan Kunle, was because by 2024, NLNG could lose strategic market advantage to countries such as the United State, Australia, Mozambique and even Tanzania, which are currently doing big LNG projects take could increase their market share.
Kunle said this in an interview with THISDAY.
His counsel, however came at a time the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, tasked the NLNG to expand its production capacity beyond Train 7 to be able to catch up with other countries and secure significant market shares.
“Although your market today is focused on externalisation, you will soon see government policies drive you towards internalisation very rapidly. So, you need to grow those volumes for the teeming population we have. I challenge you to look at this and grow from the 30mtpa you are talking of now to about 40mtpa over the next 30 years,” Kachikwu had explained.
But Kunle insisted that, “For Train 7 to hit the market, 2022 would have been the most ideal date if we are to be strategic in our market share catchment because between now and 2024, America would have advanced in their production capacity of LNG because they have nothing less than four LNG projects as we are talking now and you can imagine what they will put in the market with that.”
He further stated, “Nigeria should fast-track the additional capacity and make sure it is in the market place by 2022, and you don’t know how many plants will be commissioned in Australia – Perth because there are lots of LNG projects there.
“I would also not be surprised if Mozambique and Tanzania would not have brought their LNG into the market by then because they are working consistently.”
According to him, Nigeria had wasted too much time on getting the Train 7 project off the ground. This, he added had made it difficult for the country to comfortably take up market shares.
“It would have been more strategic for them to have 2022 because the market is competitive, America is ramping up now. By that 2024 that they are talking about, America would have already hit 40 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) and occupy the space in the market, while we would be dragging.
“They say they will take FID by December, why not September. The horse-trading is too much. When Cheniere LNG started in Louisiana, they were LNG receiving terminal and NLNG was going there to deliver but now they are going to begin to export to places like China while we don’t even have a regasification plant in Nigeria,” Kunle explained.