Cooking Gas: NNPC, Sahara Energy unveil steps to ensure steady supply

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has unveiled two dedicated vessels to help provide a permanent solution to the cooking gas supply logjam in the country.

The corporation said its joint venture company, West Africa Gas Limited, WAGL, in partnership with Sahara Energy, was unveiling two liquefied petroleum gas, LPG, vessels in Ulsan, South Korea to ensure uninterrupted supply of the commodity to the market.

The corporation’s spokesperson, Ndu Ughamadu, described the vessels as “the game changer in the supply network of the gas subsector.”

Mr. Ughamadu said the NNPC Group Managing Director, Maikanti Baru, who
spoke at a pre-naming event in South
Korea on Monday, expressed delight that the venture established in 2014 had started recording success within a short
span.

He described the unveiling of the two vessels as a significant milestone to boost LPG supply business in Nigeria.

Mr. Ughamadu said as is customary for ships to be named by the “spouses or sponsors,” often referred to as ‘godmother of the vessels’, the Group Managing Direcror, GMD, and the chief operating officer, COO, in charge of Gas & Power would perform the naming ceremony.

He said WAGL JV, which was incorporated in March 2013, would serve as the special purpose vehicle for the off-take, marketing and trading of Natural Gas Liquids, NGLs across Africa and beyond.

“The JV is to be run by two companies, NNPC LNG Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NNPC, and Sahara Energy’s oil and gas trading arm, Ocean Bed Trading Ltd (BVI),” Mr. Ughamadu explained.

“The Company is expected to take the delivery of two vessels- Halls 8182 and 8183 – from the renowned Korean ship building company,‎ Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Limited on Tuesday,” he said.

In the past three weeks, consumers of cooking gas have grappled with increase in the retail price of the commodity as a result of supply shortage.

There were reports of a hike by over 57 per cent in the cost of refilling cooking gas cylinders, with consumers paying a price tag of about N5,500, from the previous N3,500 for the 12.5 kilogramme bottle in some parts of the country, including Abuja.

But, the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas company, NLNG, which is responsible for producing and supplying the commodity from its facility in Bonny Island in Rivers State, said the scarcity was a temporary disruption in supply as a result of the inability of its vessels to discharge their consignments at the Apapa gas receiving facilities in Lagos.

“The delay, coupled with jetty unavailability, resulted in temporary product shortages in the market,” the company’s General Manager, External Relations, Kudo Eresia-Eke, explained.

He blamed the situation on the priority attention by the authorities at the receiving facilities in Apapa, which are multi-use terminals, to vessels discharging other petroleum products, including petrol, diesel and household kerosine.

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