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NLNG Enhances Steady Growth With Designated Vessels, Focuses More On Asia, Japan Markets

 

The fortune of the Nigeria Liquefied and Natural Gas (NLNG) appears to be on the rise.

The company said it has continued to push up shipping operations in line with its strategic agenda and mission statements.

The company said it could now boast of a line-up of twenty-three vessels utilized through an integrated scheduling point.

According to NLNG, the twenty-three vessels load at its Terminal in Bonny, Nigeria, for ex-ship deliveries to buyers in Middle & Far East, Asia, Europe, South America and Gulf of Mexico (GOM) including ports in Mexico and the United States.

NLNG also noted that LPG vessel is utilized for LPG delivery in the Nigerian market.

In its current edition of “Facts and Figures”, unveiled in Lagos recently, NLNG explained that in addition to traditional deliveries to Europe and the United States, the company also supplies to South America, with deliveries to Mexico and Brazil, Asia and the Middle East, with deliveries to Japan, South Korea, India, China, Taiwan, Thailand and Kuwait.

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Making reference to its Ship Management Knowledge Transfer Project (SMKTP), NLNG said the project was successfully completed in 2014.

“The project achieved milestones which included the birth of NLNG Ship Management Services (NLNGSS), a ship management department in NLNG, and the consequent phased take-over of the management of BGT vessels by NLNGSS, which has since been integrated with NLNG Ship Management Limited (NSML),” NLNG said.

According to the firm, with the SMKTP milestones now all successfully attained, NLNG continues to increase ship management capacity through continuous training and development.

NLNG also explained that following an Economic Replacement Assessment (ERA) study on the older BGT vessels, its Board approved a fleet renewal and optimization programme.

The company said BGT has specifically taken delivery of two out of the six Dual Fuel Diesel Engine (DFDE) LNG carriers built in South Korea under the BGT Plus Project, adding that four of the vessels will replace six older vessels while two are aimed at fleet optimization to meet the company’s appetite for more tonnage.

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Meanwhile, the gas company seems to have shifted its marketing focus towards Asia and Japan based on the discovery of shale gas in the United States.

Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of NLNG, Babs Omotowa said when the Nigeria LNG opened shop 15 years ago, US was one of its biggest markets, but with the discovery of shale gas, US didn’t need LNG and by 2008, the NLNG’s market share there dropped substantially, adding that at the moment, the US accounts for less than one percent of its market.

He said: “When we started off in 1999 to 2008, 35 per cent of our sales were to United States, while 65 per cent was to Europe. But in the last 10 years, the US has discovered shale gas and no longer needs LNG.

“From 2010 we were able to penetrate Japan. We were the first country to respond to Japan when it had a nuclear accident to provide them LNG. The trade has grown and Japan is one of our highest markets. Overall in Asia, we do about 48 per cent of our sales while 52 per cent to Europe.  United States gets less than one per cent. We only send cargoes there once or twice in a year just to fulfill some obligations.”

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