Following the removal of blockades of vessels belonging to the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the NLNG Limited has decided to flood the market with Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) otherwise known as cooking gas, to curb its scarcity.
This it plans to achieve by increasing the quantity of LPG supplied to the Nigerian market to 250,000 metric tonnes (MT) up from 150,000MT.
This 67 per cent increase is expected to provide ample stock of the alternate fuel and promote the use of cooking gas, which is known for its salutary effects on the environment, including its role in controlling deforestation.
NLNG currently provides over 70 per cent of cooking gas used in Nigeria, and the increase arose from its recent survey of the domestic market which showed that domestic LPG consumption had exceeded 150,000MT.
However, the Managing Director, NLNG Limited, Mr Babs Omotowa, told the Nigerian Tribune on Sunday that he was extremely delighted that NLNG is able to increase its supply of domestic gas. He added that the assurance of steady supply should increase investors’ confidence in the cooking gas industry, and boost investment in the areas of storage, transportation, and cylinders.
Omotowa stated that he was hopeful that the domestic market will grow even beyond cooking gas, to low-cost retrofitting of cars, to use both gasoline and natural gas; as LPG is less expensive than petrol.
However, the company also stated in a statement on Sunday signed by its General Manager, External Relations, Kudo Eresia-Eke, and made available to the Nigerian Tribune, that it has also lifted the force majeure it declared to its buyers and gas suppliers, after it lost all its product export capability due to the blockade of access to its terminal by the NIMASA on Friday, 21st June 2013.
“Following the removal of the blockade, NLNG immediately commenced activities to restore normal operations, and has since been increasing the production levels, in a gradual manner as necessitated by plant design and safe operating procedures.
“As at today, the 6-Train NLNG Bonny complex finally reached its normal operating capacity such that export operations can be declared as being fully normalised,” it stated.
NLNG is a Nigerian Joint Venture company whose shareholders are the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (49%), Shell (25.6%), Total LNG Nigeria Limited (15%) and ENI International (N.A.) (10.4%).
Information from Tribune was used in this report.