Cote D’ Ivoire has sent a formal request indicating its interest in liquefied petroleum gas supplies from Nigeria to support its growing power generation needs.
The request came just as Ghana has called on Nigeria to assist it overcome the negative impact of the recent gas supply disruption it is facing through the West Africa Gas Pipeline grid.
A director in the Ivorian Ministry of Energy, Kone Moussa, who led a delegation of top government officials to the NNPC, said his country hoped to rely on structured diversion of LNG cargoes from Nigeria as a starter within the next few months to tackle the growing energy supply challenges.
Mr. Moussa said the Ivorian government has already entered into a working relationship with Sahara Energy, one of Nigeria’s independent oil companies, to drive the process into reality.
Receiving the Ivorian delegation in Abuja, Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Joseph Dawha, said the NNPC was ready to cash in on the opportunity in line with its overall strategic expansion drive for Nigeria’s LNG market.
Mr. Dawha said the package, which is the first of its kind in the West African sub-region, would see Nigeria commit a small portion of its three billion cubic feet daily LNG output to its sub-regional neighbours in the first instance.
The supply arrangement, he said, would eventually be extended to the West Africa Gas Pipeline to Cote D’Ivoire and Senegal.
He said the two requests were a major sub-regional boost to Nigeria’s move to seek broader frontiers for its LNG away from the traditional Asian-pacific hub.
The Group Executive Director, Gas & Power of the NNPC, David Ige, said the move would help broaden the country’s gas supply base.
He said the entire West African sub-region, starting from Nigeria, was undergoing phenomenal economic growth, which translates into a higher demand for energy.
“As you know the West African Gas pipeline terminates in Ghana, So, Cote D’Ivoire has come to request that we bring gas to them in the first instance by LNG and ultimately in the future by extension of the pipeline,’’ Mr. Ige said.
Apart from offering a strategic opportunity for NNPC and Nigeria, he said the project was in line with the New Partnership for African Development spirit and would serve the mutual growth of the Economic Community of West African States member countries by fostering the economic integration of the West Africa corridor.
“What this means is that in future we don’t have to go as far as Europe or Asia to supply LNG when we can do so next door,’’ he said.
Earlier, a delegation from Ghana led by the Minister of Power, Kwabena Donkor, was at the NNPC Towers to seek support on recent unintended gas supply disruptions in the West Africa Gas Pipeline grid.
Mr. Ige assured that the NNPC was working aggressively with all other partners in the West African Gas Pipeline Company to restore supply disruptions wrought by extraneous factors.
“It has been a very difficult time not only for Ghana, but for Nigeria, because of the disruptions in the pipelines,” Mr. Ige explained.
He said he was convinced that the various on-going interventions by the Federal Government would help restore as well as grow the reliability of the West African Gas Pipeline system.