Nigeria LNG has taken its first major step in years that would lead to increasing its liquefied natural gas output, following the signing in London of front-end engineering and design contracts for its much talked about Train 7 facility. It had spent years contemplating an expansion to keep up with other major producers.
This latest plan would increase production to 30 million tonnes from the current 22 million tonnes by 2024.
“Our vision is to be a global player that helps to build a better Nigeria,” said TonyAttah, Nigeria LNG chief executive officer at the signing in London. “We are looking forward to the growth. When I am talking about growth I am talking about Train 7. We have the support we need, we have the support from the shareholders, from the government, from the board of directors.”
Attah had earlier said that a final investment decision could be taken this year, and Nigeria would be joining major LNG producers like Qatar, Australia in increasing output of the fastest growing fossil fuel to help meet rising demand from China to the Middle East.
Total SA, a NLNG shareholder, last week said the plant expansion is “very important” as the market is “booming again.”
NLNG runs an integrated plant on Bonny Island where its current six liquefaction trains share common facilities including storage tanks, shipping capacity and loading jetties with a gas intake of 3.5 billion standard cubic feet of natural gas per day.
Attah added that Nigeria needs to invest in new production to avoid slipping from the fourth to the 10th position by 2025 in the ranking of global LNG exporters. The company signed FEED contracts with two consortia of engineering companies, including Saipem SpA, TechnipFMC Plc and Chiyoda Corporation.
In terms of LNG demand, analysts have said that emerging economies like China and India are driving the growth.
Nigeria also supplied 24 countries with LNG in 2017, up from 21 in 2016, according to GIIGNL, an industry body for importers.