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Business News

Finally, NNPC proceeds with Train 7 project

The Train 7 project, which has been delayed for over 10 years, aims to increase the company’s production capacity from 22 metric tonnes per annum to about 30 MTPA, and will form part of the investment of over $10billion, including the upstream scope of the LNG value chain.

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After several meetings, the shareholders of the Nigeria LNG Limited have given their nods for the company to proceed with its Train 7 project.

The Train 7 project, which has been delayed for over 10 years, aims to increase the company’s production capacity from 22 metric tonnes per annum to about 30 MTPA, and will form part of the investment of over $10billion, including the upstream scope of the LNG value chain.

The NLNG is jointly owned by the Federal Government, represented by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (49%), and three international oil companies, namely Shell (25.6%), Total (15%) and Eni (10.4%).

What it means: The decision allows the expansion to increase the capacity of NLNG’s six-train plant from the extant 22 Million Tonnes Per Annum (MTPA) to 30 MTPA. This is with the award of contracts for the engineering, procurement and construction activities to follow the closure of bank and Export Credit Agency (ECA) financing, and the finalization of some key supporting commercial agreements expected in early 2020. The actualisation of the Train 7 Project comes as NLNG celebrates 30 years of its incorporation and 20 years of safe and reliable operations since exporting its first LNG cargo in 1999.

The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mele Kyari, said, “We have decided to proceed with Train 7 project today. It is an important day. It is a show of confidence that investors can put money into this project.”

In a statement issued by the company and obtained by Nairametrics, Managing Director, NLNG, Tony Attah, noted that the company had been bringing huge values to Nigeria through taxes and dividends.

He said, “Train 7 is the crux of a growth agenda which will ensure the Company’s position as the 5th major supplier of global LNG is maintained, increasing value to its shareholders and other stakeholders, as well as further reducing the gas that would otherwise have been flared, in fulfillment of its vision of ‘being a global company, helping to build a better Nigeria.”

According to him, over 12, 000 jobs would be created during the peak of construction, trade and commercial activities within the Niger Delta region equally receiving a boost as a result. “The Project will also support the development of local engineering and fabrication capacity in the country. Other opportunities for local content include procurement, logistics, equipment leasing, insurance, hotels, office supplies, aviation, haulage, and many more.”

Deal book 300 x 250

The Company further remarked that the Project upon completion will support the Federal Government’s drive to diversify its revenue portfolio and generate more revenue from Nigeria’s proven gas reserves of about 200 Trillion Cubic Feet (Tcf). The construction period after FID will last approximately five years with first LNG rundown expected in 2024.

Meanwhile, Nairametrics had reported the series of delay the much-awaited investment decision.

A series of delays: For the past 10 years, the final investment decision on Train 7 project has been delayed. The decision was also expected to be finalised in October, according to Nigeria LNG’s Chief Executive Officer, Tony Attah, but it was never concluded.

Also, the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Kyari, disclosed last month that the final decision would be taken this month, yet, the December meeting ended without an agreement.

But reacting to the setback and delay of the project, The Nigeria LNG Manager, Corporate Communication and Public Affairs, Sophia Horsfall said, “The NLNG remains fully committed to realising the Train 7 project which is expected to increase its production capacity by 35% as well as boost its competitive edge in the global LNG market.

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“As part of activities leading to the Final Investment Decision, the NLNG recently signed Gas Supply Agreements with its gas suppliers. Other activities leading to achieving FID are in progress,” Horsfall said

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Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper.The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference.The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - [email protected]

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Economy & Politics

CBN extends Covid-19 forbearance for intervention loans by another 12 months

CBN will continue to charge an interest rate of 5% for its intervention loans for another 1 year.

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New CBN guidelines ban MMOs, PSPs, Operators from receiving diaspora remittances

The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced an extension of its regulatory forbearance for the restructuring of its intervention facilities by another 12 months.

In a circular signed by Dr. Kevin Amugo, the Director of Financial Policy and Regulatory. the apex bank said it will continue to charge its borrowers an interest rate of 5% per annum as against the 9% originally offered. The CBN had on March 20th reduced the interest rates on its intervention loans from 9% to 5% as part of its response to the economic crunch brought on by Covid-19 induced lockdowns.

The CBN also offered to rollover moratorium granted on all principal payments on a case by case basis. All credit facilities had been granted a one-year moratorium starting from march 1, 2020 when the pandemic first gripped Nigeria.

See excerpt from Circular

“The Central Bank of Nigeria reduced the interest rates on the CBN intervention facilities from 9% to 5% per annum for one-year effective March 1, 2020, as part of measures to mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Nigerian economy.”

Credit facilities, availed through participating banks and OFIs, were also granted a one-year moratorium on all principal payments with effect from March 1, 2020.

Following the expiration of the above timelines, the CBN hereby approves as follows:
1) The extension by another twelve (12) months to February 28, 2022 of the discounted interest rate for the CBN intervention facilities;

2) The roll-over of the moratorium on the above facilities shall be considered on a case by case basis.

What this means

Companies who secured intervention funds from the CBN or through any of its on-lending banks will continue to service the loans at an interest rate of 5% per annum instead of 9%.

  • They can also get another year of not needing to pay back the principal sum collection. However, they will need to apply.
  • Whilst this move helps the small businesses continue to manage their cash flow, it means the CBN will record a reduction in its income extended under such facility.
  • Regulatory forbearance is a widely adopted concept during an economic crunch and it is meant to help stimulate businesses. These pronouncements if implemented will only affect those who borrow from the CBN or BOI but those who do not will miss out.
  • Download the circular here.

 

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Energy

LNG boss tasks FG to begin the monetization of Nigeria’s gas

Mr Attah has urged the FG to take the gas sector more seriously as the future of Nigeria’s energy lies with it.

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The MD and CEO of Nigeria LNG Limited Mr. Tony Attah has tasked the Federal Government to begin the revamping and monetization of the Gas sector in Nigeria.

He made this statement while making his presentation at the 2nd virtual Nigerian Gas Association (NGA) Industry Multilogues, with the theme: “Powering Forward, Enabling Nigeria’s Industrialization via Gas.”

Mr. Tony Attah drew the attention of the audience to the hidden treasure in the Nigerian Gas industry which he believes is not getting enough attention from the government.

On the future of gas as an alternative energy source, Mr. Attah stated that the developed world is already keying into gas as an alternative to crude oil. Gas has proven to be a cleaner and more sustainable alternative.

He exclaimed that Nigeria is very rich in gas and yet poor in energy. Nigeria is the 9th country with the largest gas reserves in the world but makes very little use of it.

Mr. Attah went further to paint a clear picture of the promise of investing in gas using the success achieved by Qatar. Qatar is currently the largest LNG exporter in the world.

We just touched on a quick case study of Qatar. Someone mentioned Qatar already from a poor fishing country to a gas giant and it took just 10 years, which is why we, as Nigeria LNG, firmly believe in the conversation and the narrative about the declaration of the decade of gas.

“We believe it is possible. If you look at Qatar from 1995, when they really went into gas development, we were just two years behind Qatar. So, Qatar’s first LNG was in 1997.

Nigeria’s first LNG was in 1999, just two years behind. But then, within 10 years, because of the deliberateness of the government and focus on gas, they have gone to 77 million tonnes and we are at best, 22 million tonnes,” Attah said.

Mr. Attah stressed further the importance of the gas sector in Nigeria’s future. He recalled that the Nigerian Government declared 2021-2030 as the decade of gas. He pleaded with the government to take the sector more seriously as the future of Nigeria’s energy lies with it.

Gas is the future. That future is now, and just as the Minister of State has made us to realize, gas is food in fertilizer. Gas is transport as you saw in the Auto gas project that was declared.

Gas is life, as a matter of fact, for cooking, for heating, for existence. Gas is development in manufacturing, gas is power. Gas is everything. “We think it’s time for gas. It’s time for Nigeria to diversify and that is why we fully support the decade of gas,” he said.

What you should know

  • Early last year, the director of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) Mr Sarki Auwalu confirmed that Nigeria’s proven gas reserve stood at 203.16 trillion cubic feet.
  • Nigeria has the 9th largest gas reserves in the world. It is also the 6th largest exporter of gas.
  • The Federal Government declared the year 2021–2030 as the “Year of the Gas“. It pledged to finally kick start the development and commercialization of Nigeria’s huge gas reserves.

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