Thursday, 20 September 2012

FG, Shareholders rake $51bn from NLNG investment

The Federal Government and other shareholders of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) project have earned $51 billion in revenues from the sale of liquefied natural gas in the past 13 years. Speaking when he visited the NLNG plant in Bonny Island, Rivers State, former head of state, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd.), stated that the plant also delivered $9 billion in dividends to the Federal Government and paid $10 billion to the joint venture companies during the period under review.
Gowon, who stated that the country only produced its first liquefied natural gas in 1999, after 42 years of crude oil exports, noted that the Nigeria LNG project would have earned $130 billion over the 35 years of inactivity when it was first conceptualized in the 1970s. He further disclosed that the proposed Train Seven of the NLNG would provide 10,000 construction jobs and also attract over $8 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). He urged the Federal Government and other stakeholders to commence the construction of the seventh train, adding that the NLNG, which used to be the fastest growing LNG plant in the world, should not be allowed to fail. Gowon said that with Nigeria’s 187 trillion cubic metres of proven gas reserves estimated to last for 109 years and about 600 trillion cubic metres of unproven reserves expected to last for about 300 years, the country has more than enough gas to meet its domestic and export market commitments.
 Also speaking, the Managing Director of Nigeria LNG Limited, Mr. Babs Omotowa, disclosed that the plant’s six-train facility has a capacity for 22 million metric tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of LNG and up to 5 Mtpa of natural gas liquids. He noted that the company had grown from its well-earned reputation as the world’s fastest growing LNG plant to a facility with stable production. According to him, the company sends one cargo of LNG everyday down the Bonny River to buyers all over the world, adding that the company currently accounts for eight per cent of global LNG supplies. Omotowa stated that as the single biggest contributor to government’s efforts to diversify the Nigerian economy, the company currently accounts for five per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

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