Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
Shareholders of Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited on Friday took the Final Investment Decision (FID) for its Train 7 Project, which will increase production by 35 per cent and booaty its competitiveness in the global LNG market.
The shareholders are the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (49 percent), Shell Gas B.V. (25.6 per cent) ), Total Gaz Electricite Holdings France (15 per cent), and Eni International N.A. N.V. S.àr.l (10.4 per cent).
The partners signed the long-awaited deal in Abuja on Friday, for the project that would in the long run generate about $20 billion in revenue to the federation and create about 12,000 direct jobs in the country.
The decision 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.
The project which is expected to be completed in five years with first LNG rundown expected in 2024.
Speaking shortly after the deal was announced, MD/CEO of NLNG, Mr. Tony Attah, the project would boost Nigeria’s economy by creating massive employment opportunities in Nigeria.
He explained: “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.”
He disclosed that additional indirect jobs would be created with most fabrication yards coming back on-stream.
He said the projects would additional values for Nigeria stating that as at today “we have seven billion dollars in taxes and we have issued more $15 billion in dividends to government through the shareholding by NNPC”.
Also speaking at the event, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr. Mele Kyari described the decision as historic.
He said: “This is a very great day for our country. It does two things for us, one, this Train-7 FID. We and our partners Total, Shell and Eni have decided to proceed the FID for NLNG Train-7 today.
“What this means is that we are going to put in place a project that will ultimately deliver at least $20 billion of net revenue to the Federation, it will create at least 10000 direct jobs and it will also create 40,000 indirect jobs for this country.
“It also signifies that there is renewed confidence of international investors, particularly our partners which we have known for a very long time, to still agree to put money into this country, so that we can lift the up and make it go forward”.
He said the decision has demonstrated that investors’ confidence in Nigeria is back.
He noted that for NNPC, the project meets its desires to ensure that things are done right, transparently and accountable to its shareholders which include the over 200 million Nigerians.
He said executing the project serves the interest of Nigerians, “it creates employment and prosperity which is what we are known for”.
He noted that the project has opened a gateway for the partners to more projects that would add value to the country in the upstream of the gas sector, especially in the mid-stream processing initiatives.
Representatives of Shell, Total and Eni at the event expressed delight at the decision, saying it would boost Nigeria’s position in the liquefied natural gas space.