NLNG TRAIN 7 FID: A Strategic Initiative To Boost Nigeria’s Fortune

Closing the last decade, the Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) Train 7 project was made concrete.

In what has been described by some industry experts as one of the best things to happen to the sector in 2019, board of directors of the company on Friday 27 December, 2019 took the much-awaited Final Investment Decision (FID) of Train 7 project.

In order words the four shareholders of the company, which are the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), representing Nigerian Government’s interest, with 49 per cent equity holding, Shell Gas B.V., 25.6 per cent, Total Gaz Electricite Holdings France, 15 per cent and Eni International, 10.4 per cent committed themselves to investing in the project.

For the purpose of explanation, an FID is the decision by the board of directors of a company to proceed with the investment for a project, having among others, met sufficient financial resources to deliver on it. The emphasis here is on the financial resources to execute such plans.

Similarly, an LNG train refers to a liquefaction plant that often consists of several parallel units arranged sequentially. The NLNG plant in Bonny Island already has 6 trains/units, the 7th is the subject of the FID.

Thus, the train 7 FID decision provides for 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 finalisation of some key supporting commercial agreements expected in early 2020.

Speaking at the epoch-making event which took place at the NLNG Headquarters Annex in Abuja, NNPC group managing director, Mallam Mele Kyari, listed the benefits of proceeding with the construction of the 7th train to include: an affirmation that Nigeria remains a prime foreign investment destination; generation of $20 billion to the federal government coffers and provision of 10,000 direct and 40,000 indirect jobs to Nigerians.

He described the FID as a vote of confidence in the Nigerian economy as a prime investment destination by the International Oil Companies.

Adding that the occasion also signifies that there is a renewed confidence by international investors, particularly the Corporation’s partners who still agree to put money back into the country to actualise the project and move the country forward.

Describing the FID as a desire met, the GMD said it would help open a floodgate of opportunities for more of such investments which could boost the economy and create prosperity for the over 200 million Nigerians who are the shareholders of the corporation.

“We need to do more, and we can do more. This FID has opened the gateway for doing more great things. We will work with our partners to bring in more projects that will add value to this country in the Upstream, and particularly in the gas processing sector”, he said.

He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his unflinching support and expressed appreciation to the investment partners and the management of the NLNG for their tenacity in staying committed to the project in spite of all the challenges, adding that Mr President’s earnest desire was to drive the NLNG to establish Train 12 as soon as possible.

On his part, managing director/chief executive officer (MD/CEO) NLNG, Tony Attah, said, “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 noted that “Over 12, 000 jobs will be created during the peak of construction, with 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.”

Attah further remarked 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).

According to him, construction period after FID will last approximately five years with first LNG rundown expected in 2024.

Also speaking on the part of investors, the managing director of Shell who was represented by Mr Henry Bristol, said Shell was committed to the project and the opportunities it provides for Nigeria.

On his part, the managing director of Total, Mr Mike Sangster, said the company was very pleased to be part of the decision to proceed with the Train 7 which he described as great and fantastic.

However, no one captured the mood of the moment better than managing director of ENI represented by Mr Peter Costello who expressed the commitment of his company to the decision to go ahead with the Train 7 project. He added that the decision was in tandem with the celebratory mood of the season.

Kudos To Kyari

But on a final note it is important to state that the rapid consummation of the processes leading to the FID of Train 7, is a result of the leadership role of the NNPC GMD, who has demonstrated immense dexterity to actualise major sectoral decisions in recent times.

He spared no time to express the commitment of the industry to buoy the Oil and Gas Sector’s contribution to the national economy, always emphasising his regard to the ordinary Nigerians as forming the fulcrum of the shareholders of corporation.

As he promised during his declaration of the FID on behalf of other shareholders of the company, his team would work with partners to bring in more projects that would add value to the nation’s Upstream Sector, particularly in the gas processing sub-sector.

This expression of commitment by the NNPC GMD is soothing as it indicates that other gas projects, which are no less of high promise to boosting Nigeria’s economy, may receive desired attention soon during his tenure. Among these are the Brass LNG as well as Olokola LNG, otherwise called OK LNG. The other is the integrated gas processing facility in Delta Sate. Each of these projects is capable of generating tens of thousands of jobs in the country; reduce gas flaring and boost the nation’s economy with the concomitant effect of enabling government to provide for the needs of Nigerians nationwide.

Culled from: Leadership Newspaper



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