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Thursday, September 29, 2022

NNPC, Sahara Group invest $300m in gas carriers

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited and Sahara Group, an indigenous energy and infrastructure conglomerate, yesterday took delivery of two 23,000 Cubic Meter (CBM) Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) vessels at the Hyundai MIPO Shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea.

The delivery of the new vessels, MT BARUMK and MT SAPET, has increased NNPC and Sahara Group’s joint venture (JV) investment to over $300 million, approaching the JV’s $1 billion gas infrastructure commitment by 2026.

The fleet previously comprised MT Sahara Gas and MT Africa Gas. The four vessels were built by Hyundai MIPO Dockyard, a foremost global manufacturer of mid-sized carriers. The plan is to further add 10 vessels in 10 years to enhance Africa’s transition to cleaner fuels. MT BARUMK and MT SAPET are WAGL and Sahara Group’s injection into the JV.

WAGL Energy Limited, the JV company between NNPC and Oceanbed – a Sahara Group Company, is driving NNPC’s five-year $1 billion investment plan announced last year to accelerate the decade of gas and energy transition agenda over the period.

Group Managing Director, NNPC Limited, Mele Kyari said an order of three additional new vessels was being finalised, adding that the partners have a target of delivering 10 vessels over the next 10 years.

“The NNPC and our partners stand out with integrity in our energy transition quest and our commitment environmental sustainability is unwavering,” Kyari said.

He said the vessels were critical to driving the Federal Government’s commitment to the domestication of gas through several initiatives and increasing seamless supply in compliance with the mandate of President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to him, the initiatives – the LPG Penetration Framework and LPG Expansion Plan –  are geared towards encouraging the use of gas in households, power generation, auto-gas and industrial applications in order to attain five Million Metric tonnes of LPG consumption by 2025.

Executive Director, Sahara Group, Temitope Shonubi said WAGL has operated two mid-sized LPG Carriers MT Africa Gas and MT Sahara Gas in the region in keeping with global standards, delivering over six million CBM of LPG across West Africa.

“With the new vessels we are set to promote and lead Africa’s march towards energy transition,” Shonubi said.

Nigeria’s Ambassador to South Korea,  Ali Magashi, who represented the Federal Government, noted that President Muhammad Buhari deserved commendation for the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) which he said would reposition the NNPC to explore more projects with partners like Sahara Group.

LPG is the fastest growing petroleum product in sub-Sahara African over the last decade, with forecasts indicating that LPG will grow at seven per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next 15 years.

Increased uptake of LPG will reduce net Green House Gas (GHG) emissions and pressure on forest reserves, thereby increasing environmental sustainability.

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