The Nigeria LNG held a ceremony Tuesday to mark the commencement of the construction of its Train 7 project, aimed at boosting Nigeria’s liquefied natural gas output by some 35 per cent.
The long-expected $10 billion project is expected to add around 8 million tonnes a year of liquefied natural gas to NLNG, taking the total to around 30 million tonnes per year. Nigeria’s LNG production has been declining in recent years.
It will create 12,000 direct jobs, NLNG managing director Tony Attah said at the event Tuesday.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who did the groundbreaking via video conference, urged that the project be delivered on time so that the Train 8 project can commence.
The president said the NLNG has earned revenues of $114 billion over the years, paying $39 billion in taxes and $18 billion in dividends to the federal government.
NLNG, a consortium between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Shell, Eni, and Total, signed its final investment decision on the Train 7 processing unit late 2020.
Mr Buhari urged the Board of Directors, management and staff of NLNG, the host communities, the Rivers State Government and other Agencies of the Federal Government to continue to collaborate to ensure completion and eventual commissioning of the Train 7 project “safely and on time.”
”As we flag off the Train 7 project today, I look forward to the development and execution of more gas projects by the International Oil Companies (IOCs) and indigenous operators, and more Trains from Nigeria LNG to harness the over 600 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves we are endowed with.
”Let me use this opportunity to commend the shareholders of NLNG, the Federal Ministry of Petroleum, NNPC and the NCDMB and other stakeholders for very exemplary collaboration which has culminated in this great opportunity for Train 7.
”I want to thank the foreign investors for the confidence reposed in Nigeria, and assure all Nigerians and potential investors in the Oil and Gas sector that the Federal Government will continue to create the enabling environment in order to develop the sector and bring the full benefits of Gas closer to our people,” he said.
President Buhari recounted that the story of Nigeria LNG was one he had been ”passionately associated with during the formative years of the project.”
He said: ”As Minister of Petroleum Resources, I kicked off our first foray in LNG Business in 1978. At the time it was already apparent that Nigeria was mainly a gas-rich country with a little oil!
”It therefore gives me great joy to see the organization transform from just a project in the early 90s to a very successful company with over 20 years of responsible operations and steady supply of Liquefied Natural Gas, Liquefied Petroleum Gas and Natural Gas Liquids into the global market.
”This is proof that Nigeria has great capacity to deliver value to the world by harnessing our natural resources”.
In his address, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva described NLNG as a ”blessing to the nation”, noting that it has positively complemented crude oil exploration by monetising flared gas and yielding huge revenue to the nation and investors.
Mr Sylva added that since NLNG became operational in 1999, the nation has recorded a drastic reduction in operational flare status from 65 per cent to 12 per cent.
”I boldly say that the groundbreaking of Train 7 is a guarantee to every stakeholder of more dividends in terms of further reduction in gas flaring, more revenue to the nation and shareholders, more job opportunities especially at the construction phase and more social investments for the society, ” he said.
Mr Attah, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NLNG, said the project would stimulate inflow of about $10 billion FDI into Nigeria.
He said the project would also further the development of local capacity and businesses through the 100 per cent in-country execution of construction works, fabrications and major procurement.
‘‘Nigeria has ridden on the back of oil for over 50 years, but with this Train 7 project Nigeria is now set and I believe it is now time to fly on the wings of gas,’’ he said.
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