The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, on Tuesday flagged off the construction of Nigeria LNG Limited’s (NLNG) Train 7 project during the groundbreaking ceremony at the company’s plant site on Bonny Island, Rivers State.
The project is expected to increase NLNG’s current six-train plant capacity by about 35% from an extant 22 Million Tonnes Per Annum (MTPA) to 30 MTPA.
The foundation stone was laid on behalf of President Buhari, who flagged the project virtually, by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, supported by the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike CON, represented by Deputy Governor, Dr. (Mrs.) Ipalibo Harry Banigo; the Amanyanabo of Grand Bonny Kingdom, His Majesty, King Edward Asimini William Dappa Pepple III, Perekule XI; Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Mele Kyari; the Chairman, NLNG Board of Directors, His Majesty Dr. Edmund Daukoru, NLNG’s Managing Director/CEO, Engr. Tony Attah; and NLNG’s Deputy Managing Director, Engr. Sadeeq Mai-Bornu, amongst others.
Other dignitaries who graced the event are the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Wabote; NLNG Board directors NNPC Board directors; distinguished senators, members of the Company’s Senior Management Team and other special guests.
President Buhari said the groundbreaking was an important milestone in the history of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, adding that “the story of Nigeria LNG is one that I have been so passionately associated with during the formative years of the NLNG project. It has transformed from a project over the years to a very successful company.
“This groundbreaking ceremony to herald the Train 7 project construction has afforded me the opportunity to congratulate NLNG and its Company’s shareholders – NNPC, Shell, Total, and Eni – for proving that a Nigerian company can operate a world-class business safely, profitably, and responsibly. Clearly, you have set the stage upon which Nigeria’s vast gas resources will continue to grow well into the future.”
“I am proud that NLNG, as the pioneer LNG company in Nigeria, has conscientiously proven the viability of the gas sector over the years, currently contributing about one percent to our country’s GDP. NLNG has generated $114 billion in revenues over the years, paid $9 billion in taxes; $18 billion in dividends to the Federal Government and $15 billion in feed gas purchase. These are commendable accomplishments by the company’s 100 percent Nigerian Management Team.
“With this level of performance, I can only hope that the company continues to grow, starting with this Train 7 project, but also positioning Nigeria to thrive through the energy transition. I hereby urge the Board of Directors, Management and Staff of Nigeria LNG, the Host Communities, the Rivers State Government and Agencies of the Federal Government to continue to collaborate to ensure completion and eventual commissioning of the Train 7 project safely and on time, so that Train 8 can then start,’ he said.
Governor of Rivers State, Barrister Nyesom Wike, represented by Dr. Banigo, applauded the shareholders, NLNG’s Board of Directors, and the Company’s management for keeping the Train 7 dream alive. He said the State Government considered the project as a key economic enabler and committed to supporting both the project and the Company.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Sylva, stated that Train 7 would contribute to maintaining the country’s status as a gas exporting nation. He said, “Nigeria has more gas reserves than crude oil, and we have much to gain from sustaining our LNG exports to a market that has a growing demand for the commodity as the preferred fuel for industrialization and power generation.”
The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr. Mele Kyari, commended the Federal Government for supporting the project and called for stakeholders’ support for the project. He added that support for NLNG will lead to immense benefits to Nigerians.
Engr. Tony Attah, in his welcome remarks, said the benefits of gas to the country will increase on the back of this Train 7 Project. He added that Train 7 will stimulate the inflow of more than $10billion Foreign Direct Investment into Nigeria as part of the project scope; create more than12,000 direct jobs and additional 40,000 indirect construction jobs; and develop Nigerian local capacity and businesses. He also stated that the increase in volume supply to the global market as a result of Train 7 will keep NLNG and the country on top of the suppliers’ chart as world LNG demand grows.
The Company took the Final Investment Decision (FID) for the project in December 2019. It proceeded to sign the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) Contracts with the SCD JV Consortium, comprising affiliates of Saipem, Chiyoda, and Daewoo, on May 13 2020.
Train 7 Project is in fulfilment of NLNG’s vision of “being a global Company, helping to build a better Nigeria.” The project, upon completion, will support the Federal Government’s drive to generate more revenue from Nigeria’s proven gas reserves and further reduce gas flaring in the country’s upstream oil and gas industry.
The project is scheduled to span approximately five years.
NLNG is an incorporated Joint-Venture owned by four Shareholders, namely, the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (49%), Shell Gas B.V. (25.6%), Total Gaz Electricite Holdings France (15%), and Eni International N.A. N.V. S.àr.l (10.4%).