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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) on Wednesday signed the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts for the Train 7 project.

The contracts were signed with the SCD JV Consortium, comprising affiliates of Saipem, Chiyoda and Daewoo.

The NNLG said the signing of the EPC contracts have now triggered the effective commencement of the detailed design and construction phase of the multi-billion dollar project.

On completion, the project is expected to raise the plant’s current six-train capacity by 35 per cent, from the extant 22 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) to 30 MTPA.

During the contract signing ceremony held online, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mele Kyari, said the federal government was determined to go ahead with the construction of the project despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic on the global economy.

Mr Kyari said despite fears that the COVID-19 crisis could disrupt the completion of the construction of the Train 7 Project, he was optimistic the pandemic will end long before the construction of the project is completed.

“The pandemic crisis is not forever. I am confident it will come to end before the construction is completed and operations begin in five years time,” Mr Kyari said.

Successes, models

The NNPC GMD said the company’s successes since it commenced operation in 1999 have continued to prove it is a unique business model that is profitable to all its stakeholders.

“NNPC and the other shareholders — Shell, Total and Eni — are proud to be a part of this exceptional Nigerian brand that stands out in the global market,” he said.

Mr Kyari said it was for that reason that President Muhammadu Buhari instructed the NNPC, through the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipreye Sylva, that the project be given all the support necessary to succeed.

The NNPC, he said, was determined to support all the other shareholders and NLNG’s management to secure the much-needed public confidence from all critical stakeholders, especially federal government agencies and international investors towards the pursuit of the 7th train project.

“I encourage every stakeholder involved in the execution of the Train 7 Project, especially the SCD JV Consortium, NLNG Train 7 Project Team and the company’s management to leave no stone unturned in making this project a reality,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Sylva said he was happy the construction of the project was proceeding despite the current challenges in the global economy.

He commended the shareholders for the milestone achieved, assuring that the federal government will do all that was necessary to pursue it to the end on schedule and within budget.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NLNG, Tony Attah, said the EPC contracts’ signing represents yet another milestone in NLNG’s journey towards achieving its vision of being a global LNG company, helping to build a better Nigeria.

Tony Attah, MD, NLNG Tony Attah, MD, NLNG

“With the award of the EPC Contracts to our preferred bidders (SCD JV), we are guaranteeing that our country remains significantly on the global list of LNG suppliers,” he said.

“This singular act clearly demonstrates our shareholders’ determination and resolve to sustain the economic dividends that NLNG’s monetization of our vast natural gas reserves offers our great country Nigeria,” he added.

Confident in SCD JV Consortium’s proven competence, Mr Attah said its understanding of NLNG’s business philosophy will positively influence the execution of the Project and ensure zero harm to people, environment and host communities.

The project, upon completion, will support the federal government’s drive to generate more revenue from Nigeria’s proven gas reserves of about 200 Trillion cubic feet (TCF) and further reduce gas flaring in the country’s upstream oil and gas industry.

The construction period is expected to last approximately five years with first LNG rundown expected in 2025.

NLNG is an incorporated Joint-Venture owned by four Shareholders, namely, the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by the NNPC (49%), Shell Gas B.V. (25.6%), Total Gaz Electricite Holdings France (15%), and Eni International N.A. N.V. S.àr.l (10.4%).

Representatives of all the shareholders, along with the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Osobonye LongJohn, witnessed the ceremony.

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