NNPC, Sahara Group invest $300m in two gas carriers

NNPC, Sahara Group invest $300m in two gas carriers
NNPC GMD, Mele Kyari

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) and Sahara Group, on Monday, took delivery of two 23,000 CBM Liquefied Petroleum Gas vessels at the Hyundai MIPO Shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea, with plans to add 10 vessels in 10 years to enhance Africa’s transition to cleaner fuels.

The new vessels, MT BARUMK and MT SAPET, will increase NNPC and Sahara Group’s joint venture investment to over $300million out of the JV’s $1billion gas infrastructure commitment by 2026.

The fleet previously comprised MT Sahara Gas and MT Africa Gas.

The deal is part of WAGL Energy Limited, the JV company between NNPC and Oceanbed (a Sahara Group Company) targeted at driving NNPC’s five-year $1 billion investment plan announced in 2021, in line with the decade of gas and energy transition agenda.

The MT BARUMK and MT SAPET are WAGL and Sahara Group’s injection into the JV. WAGL will shore up its gas fleet and terminal infrastructure, while Sahara Group will continue to make remarkable progress in the construction of over 120,000 metric tonnes of storage facilities in 11 African countries, including Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Tanzania, and Zambia, among others.During the signing, NNPC’s GMD, Melo Kyari disclosed that an order of three additional new vessels was being finalised, adding, “we 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 to environmental sustainability is unwavering.”

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

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 5 Million Metric tonnes of LPG consumption by 2025.

“This is another epoch-making achievement for the NNPC and Sahara Group, and we remain firmly committed to delivering more formidable gas projects for the benefit of Nigeria and the entire sub-region,” Kyari said.

Executive Director Sahara Group, Temitope Shonubi, said: “WAGL has successfully operated two mid-sized LPG Carriers MT Africa Gas and MT Sahara Gas in the region in keeping with global standards, delivering over 6 million CBM of LPG across West Africa. With the new vessels we are set to promote and lead Africa’s march towards energy transition.”

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.

The two new vessels will sail out for Nigeria in June and September 2022 respectively.

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