President Muhammadu Buhari has charged stakeholders and contractors involved in the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Train 7 to fast track its completion process and delivers on schedule such that would allow the commencement of Train 8 project.
He added that the NLNG, host communities, the Rivers State government, and other agencies of the Federal Government must continue to collaborate to ensure the completion and eventual inauguration of the Train 7 project safely and on time.
He said that with the flag off the train 7, his administration was looking forward to development and execution of more gas projects by the International Oil Companies (IOCs) and indigenous operators.
Aside from the development and execution of more gas projects, Buhari noted that he was also looking forward to more Trains from NLNG to harness the over 600 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves the country was endowed with.
Speaking on Tuesday at a virtual ground-breaking ceremony of the project in Bonny Island, Rivers State, the president commended foreign investors for the confidence reposed in Nigeria, adding that his administration would stop at nothing in
“I commend shareholders of NLNG, the Federal Ministry of Petroleum, NNPC, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, and other stakeholders for very exemplary collaboration which has culminated in this great opportunity.
“I assure all Nigerians and potential investors in the oil and gas sector that the Federal Government will continue to create the enabling environment to develop the sector and bring the full benefits of gas closer to our people,’’ he said.
Buhari recounted that the story of Nigeria LNG was one he had been “passionately associated with during the formative years of the project’’.
“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 organisation transform from just a project in the early 1990s 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,’’ the president added.
He congratulated NLNG and its shareholders – NNPC, Shell, Total, and Eni for proving that a Nigerian company could operate a world-class business safely, profitably, and responsibly and also lauded the consortium for clearly setting the stage upon which Nigeria’s vast gas resources would continue to grow well into the future.
According to the president, the focus of his administration is to boost the development of Nigeria’s abundant gas resources, strengthen the gas value chain, develop the much-needed infrastructure and enhance safe operations in the sector as outlined in the National Gas Policy of 2017.
“Through the Decade of Gas initiative, which I recently launched, we will transform Nigeria into a major gas and industrialised nation with gas playing the key role as revenue earner, fuel for industries, and necessary feed for petrochemicals and fertiliser plants,’’ he said.
In his address, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, described NLNG as a ‘“blessing to the nation’’. According to him, it has positively complemented crude oil exploration by monetising flared gas and yielding huge revenue to the nation and to investors.
Sylva added that since NLNG became operational in 1999, the nation had 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.
Also speaking, Anthony Attah, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NLNG, said that Train 7 would increase NLNG’s overall capacity to 30 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) from the current 22 million mtpa.
Attah noted that the project would stimulate about 10 billion dollars Foreign Direct Investments into Nigeria, create 12,000 direct jobs in Bonny Island and additional 40,000 indirect construction jobs.
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.