The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has urged the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Ltd to consider NIKORMA –an NNPC/Hyundai Consortium Joint venture Shipping Company –when it comes to the supply of LNG vessels for future needs.
Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Engr Austen Oniwon made the call when he received the Managing Director of NLNG, Mr Babs Jolayemi Omotowa in his office at the NNPC Towers, recently.
“We appeal to you to patronize NIKORMA which is the new NNPC JV shipping company. We hope you’ll look at it when you need additional vessels for the future,” Engr Oniwon told the visiting MD.
The GMD, who added that the GED Commercial & Investment, Dr Attahiru Yusuf would soon be in Bonny to formally present NIKORMA to the NLNG assured that “the standards and quality of the shipping company would be very high.”
According to the GMD, NLNG represents the single largest investment of NNPC. He said: “In the E & P, we manage the assets on behalf of government, but in NLNG, we’re a shareholder and therefore, the equity represents our single largest investment as a Corporation.”
Engr Oniwon also described the NLNG as a major success story for the nation and a benchmark for everybody. “That is why even when government talks about the privatization of refineries, our unions kept saying let’s adopt the NLNG model. That means it’s a success,” Oniwon stated.
He further pledged NNPC’s support to NLNG’s Train 7 even as he expressed concerns over the timing of the project. He said there was the need to strike a balance between the timing and the windows of opportunities which the NLNG wouldn’t like to miss.
"Government desires to have another LNG located away from NLNG for strategic reasons which as an NOC, we must ensure those desires are fulfilled. We believe nothing will happen to NLNG, but we wouldn’t want to put all our eggs in one basket,” Engr Oniwon stated.
He said government was putting priority in Brass LNG, stressing that the board meeting was held the week before while the Final Investment Decision (FID) is expected to be taken in December this year or 1st Quarter of next year (2013).
He congratulated the new NLNG MD for the “excellent and commendable” performance of the company in the 1st Quarter of 2012, assuring him that NNPC’s doors are always open for any support he might seek from the Corporation.
Earlier, the NLNG MD, Mr Babs Jolayemi Omotowa who said they were in NNPC to appreciate the support given to the company by the Corporation stated that the company recorded a strong financial performance in the 1st Quarter of 2012, earning over $3billion as revenue.
He said: “The 1st Quarter of 2012 has gone very well for us in NLNG. We’ve continued to produce more than one cargo a day and shipped it all to our customers. In terms of plants and assets, we have reliability levels in the high 90s, despite the fact that we had three shutdown programmes.
"In 2010, Train 1 had fire incident and was operating at less than 90% capacity. We are in the process of changing out the turbine and by the end of May this year, we’ll have all our Trains in 100% capacity to nameplate,” Mr Omotowa said.
He expressed confidence in the “good support” given to the company by the Joint Venture partners upstream. “We have had full gas sufficiency throughout the period while our cost was well-managed below the target we had during the year,” he added.
He said the company would soon acquire six new ships in order to enhance its shipping operations. “We have commenced the tendering process and we hope to award the acquisition contract by the end of the year as instructed by the Board,” the NLNG boss stated.
The NLNG is a jointly owned LNG company with four shareholders namely: NNPC (49%), Shell (25.6%), Total (15%) and Eni (10.4%). Currently, it has six Trains in operation with an overall capacity of some 22 million tonnes per annum of LNG and 4 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of LPG.