President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday flagged off a long-awaited project to construct Train 7 project in Bonny Island, Rivers state. The flag-off for the construction work for the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) came amidst uneasy calm trailing last week Thursday’s protest by the host Finima community. President Buhari during the virtual event had sought stakeholders cooperation to ensure completion of the Train 7 project “safely and on time” to pave way for a Train 8 expansion, but leaders in Finima insist they won’t lend support to the project till NLNG accords to the community desires host status. The project was delayed last year following the impact of COVID-19-induced economic slowdown and lower gas demand worldwide. The Train 7 project is a joint venture consortium that seeks to boost Nigeria’s Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) output to 30 million tons per annum (mtpa) from 22 mtpa. On May 13, 2020, NLNG had awarded the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contracts for the Train 7 project to SCD JV Consortium, comprising affiliates of Saipem, Chiyoda, and Daewoo.
Mr. President in his charge to stakeholders said, “As we flag of the Train 7 today, I look forward to development and execution of more gas projects by the International Oil Companies (IOCs) and indigenous operators, and more Trains from Nigeria LNG to harness over 600trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves we are endowed with.
“I commend the shareholders of NLNG, the Federal Ministry of Petroleum, NNPC and the NCDMB and other stakeholders for very exemplary collaboration which has culminated in this great opportunity for Train 7.
“I thank the foreign investors for the confidence reposed in Nigeria, and assure all Nigerians and potential investors in the Oil and Gas sector that Federal Government will continue to create enabling environment to develop the sector and bring the full benefits of Gas closer to our people.”
He recalled, “As Minister of Petroleum Resources, I kicked off our first foray in LNG Business in 1978. At the time it was already apparent that Nigeria was mainly a gas-rich country with little oil.
“It therefore gives me great joy to see the organization transform from just a project in the early 90s to a very successful company with over 20 years of responsible operations and steady supply of Liquefied Natural Gas, Liquefied Petroleum Gas and Natural Gas Liquids into the global market.
“This is proof that Nigeria has great capacity to deliver value to the world by harnessing our natural resources.
“Through the Decade of Gas initiative, which I recently launched, we will transform Nigeria into a major gas and industrialised nation with gas playing the key role as a revenue earner, fuel for industries, and necessary feed for petrochemicals and fertiliser plants.”
He noted with delight, “NLNG has generated $114 billion in revenues over the years, paid $9 billion in taxes; $18 billion in dividends to the Federal Government and $15 billion in feed gas purchase. These are commendable accomplishments by the company’s 100 percent Nigerian Management Team.
“With this level of performance, I can only hope that the company continues to grow starting with this Train 7 project but also positioning Nigeria to thrive through the energy transition.”