BY CHIKA OKEKE, Abuja
The ongoing construction of the $5bn Train-7 project undertaken by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) at Finima, Bonny Island, Rivers State has reached 52 percent completion.
This was even as the project engaged the services of 8,300 Nigerians with diverse skill sets.
Managing Director of Nigeria LNG Limited, Dr. Philip Mshelbila stated this on Friday during a parley with the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote at the company’s operational base in Finima, Bonny Island.
The parley was part of a three-day Nigerian Content Stakeholders Retreat, which provided the forum for the two leaders to sign an agreement on the Oil and Gas E-market Place.
Presidential Diary reports that the agreement would lead to the roll out of tender opportunities from the Nigeria LNG limited on the E-market electronic platform, thereby implementing a key provision of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act.
Recall that Section 106 of the NOGICD Act described the Oil and Gas E-market place as a virtual platform for buyers and sellers of goods and services in the oil and gas industry that allows for speedy and transparent transactions.
Mshelbila hinted that the relationship between his organisation and NCDMB has improved over the years, with both parties striving to fulfil its statutory obligations.
He acknowledged the crucial role played by the board in the take-off of the Train-7 project, assuring that the company would stretch its local content practice beyond mere compliance within the provisions of the NOGICD act.
The managing director promised that the company would continously engage in initiatives that would boost in-country productivity and economic diversification.
He informed that there cannot be a better Nigeria without developing the capacities of Nigerians, saying that the vision of LNG is to be a globally competitive company that would build a better Nigeria.
Mshelbila highlighted the difficulties faced by the company in getting adequate gas supply and the resultant under-production despite the availability of six plants that are performing below 50 percent capacity.
He noted that supplying gas to the NLNG plants was mainly from the Joint Venture (JV) partners, including Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Limited, Total Energies and Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC).
The managing director lamented that the pipelines are taunted with recurrent vandalism, in addition to facility failure and low production from aging wells that resulted to disruption of supplies.
He explained that LNG is exploring several options to mitigate the challenge, including partnering with critical security agencies to curtail vandalism on the pipelines and working with JV partners to increase gas production.
Mshelbila disclosed that LNG board of directors had approved the procurement of gas from other international and indigenous gas producers in the country, with the goal of enhancing the performance of Trains 1-6.
He was worried that the deepwater gas projects that would supply gas for the upcoming Train-7 and other future expansions was yet to take-off despite the significant progress recorded in the construction of the plant.
Mshelbila solicited the board’s support for the development of deepwater gas projects, adding that the project is critical in sustaining the Trains 1-6 and the upcoming Train 7.
The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr Wabote insisted that the E-marketplace would be a game-changer that would enhance the Service Level Agreement (SLA) between the two organisations.
He noted that the board decided to start with NLNG due to the company’s record of excellence.
The executive secretary hinted that the intention of the E-Marketplace is to increase transparency in the tender process, remove human interference in business processes, move things electronically and achieve better results.
He described the Final Investment Decision (FID) and other critical steps that were taken for the Train-7 project at the height of COVID-19 as a proof of stakeholders’ enthusiasm for the project.
Wabote expressed concern over inadequate gas supply, promising to support the company by approving third party gas injectors and sanctioning new deepwater gas projects.
He added that most of the marginal operators discovered gas but were unable to supply the gas.
The executive secretary commended the NLNG for its remarkable success, recalling that at the initial phase of the company’s take-off, the management staff were made up of 90 per cent expatriates and the remaining 10 percent were Nigerians.
He was excited that the decision was reversed as the entire management consist of Nigerians given the implementation of local content.
The General Manager of Production, LNG, Engr. Nnamdi Anowi stated that the company has its core areas of operation such as liquefaction, transmission, transportation, marketing and sales.
He said that over 5,770 LNG cargoes have been delivered as of September 2023 and over 500,000 tons of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) produced and sold to markets overseas and in Nigeria.
BY CHIKA OKEKE, Abuja