… as NLPGA moves to increase investment

By Ediri Ejoh

MT Sahara Gas, the newly built vessel acquired by the West Africa Gas Limited, WAGL, has delivered 7,000 metric tons of Liquefied Natural Gas, thus increasing domestic supply in the nation.

WAGL is a joint Venture of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and leading energy conglomerate, Sahara Group. The JV is 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).

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WAGL in January 2017 acquired two new vessels, MT Africa Gas and MT Sahara Gas in its bid to reduce transportation bottlenecks, add value to the Nigerian economy through exporting the commodity, deepen the LPG market in West Africa as well as enhance access to clean and safe energy.

The acquisitions were also a strategic response to the lingering challenges of supply, affordability and fraudulent activities motivated by scarcity of the product.

Speaking on the development, NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said in keeping with the Federal Government’s economic growth plan, WAGL remained committed to stabilising the market and ensuring sustainability of the commodity through strategic deliveries within the sub-region.

“This is a historic achievement for the NNPC and Sahara Group that showcases a truly successful partnership by all global standards. The quest is to achieve uninterrupted supply of the commodity and address infrastructural limitations as we continue to implement our zero- tolerance policy against adulterated products and their promoters across the nation.”

Baru said the NNPC/Sahara Group partnership remained a model for successful JVs, adding that both parties were considering various strategies to optimise the delivery of the product across West Africa.

“The Federal Government deserves commendation for implementing policies that are geared towards growing the economy. That we have such a partnership involving the NNPC and Sahara Group is indeed an important global narrative for Nigeria in terms of capacity, expertise and sustainability,” he added.

Managing Director, Petroleum Products Marketing Company, PPMC, Umar Isa Ajiya, said it was a significant and important milestone not only for Nigeria, but for Africa and the entire shipping and maritime industry.

“We have a brand new LPG vessel, built by 100 percent fully owned Nigerian entities and it has picked up LPG from Bonny and brought it to Lagos.

“This is the first time we are having a wholly owned shipping vessel bringing product to our shores. This is an opportunity to grow and deepen the LPG market in Nigeria such that the use of firewood will come to an end sooner than later. I must commend the shareholders of Sahara Group and NNPC for making it worthy to make this laudable investment.”

Meanwhile, the President, NLPGA, Mr. Nuhu Yakubu, has lauded the commitment of government’s towards developing the Nigeria’s LPG markets, adding that the association is determined to increase investment in the sector.

He said, ”The reason why the NLPGA is committed to increasing investment in production and utilisation of LPG in Nigeria, is because government as at that time till now, is very interested in growing the LPG market in recognition of the fact that Nigeria has been proven to be more of a gas province than oil, and remains a net exporter of gas, including LPG.

”The NLPGA is charged with the responsibility to develop policies and programs to support government and industry to grow LPG in Nigeria through infrastructure build out, and awareness creation to promote safety practices as the industry grows.”

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