By Ignatius Chukwu
President Muhammadu Buhari seems to already dream of the reality of Train 8 as he flagged off Train 7 in Bonny, Rivers State, Tuesday, June 15, 2021. The $10Bn Train 7 is expected to yield a total of direct and indirect 52,000 jobs.
President Buhari revealed his dream during a virtual address he delivered at the inauguration of Train 7 which took place at a dedicated site in Finima area of Bonny local council area of Rivers State.
For his dream Train 8 to come quickly, President buhari uged stakeholders involved in the Train 7 project to ensure effective execution so that the next train will be on cue.
The president said: “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.
He went on: “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.”
The project is expected to increase NLNG’s current six-train plant capacity by about 35 per cent 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 Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, supported by the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Barr. Nyesom Wike CON, represented by Deputy Governor, 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), Mele Kyari; the Chairman, NLNG Board of Directors, His Majesty Dr. Edmund Daukoru, NLNG’s Managing Director/CEO, Tony Attah; and NLNG’s Deputy Managing Director, Engr. Sadeeq Mai-Bornu, amongst others.
Executive Governor of Rivers State, Barrister Nyesom Wike, represented by 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.”
In his welcome remarks, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, 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.
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%).