The $5 billion worth Train-7 project of the Nigerian Liquefied  Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited,  is now at the 52 percent  to completion. According  to Philip Mshelbila, the Managing Director at Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited, the project  also  have the capacity to employ not less than  8,300 Nigerians across different levels of skill-set.

Philip said this during a recent engagement session with Simbi Wabote, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB). Underscoring the importance of the NLNG vision,  the ripple effects of deliberate capacity development  in Nigeria and how  it can position the country for global relevance.

He noted that Nigeria  “cannot have a better country unless we develop the capacities of Nigerians, the vision of NLNG is to be a globally competitive LNG company, helping to build a better Nigeria. We recognize the role of the regulator and are happy you recognize that of the operator and the need for regular engagement.”

He however, expressed concerns over the potential completion of the Train-7 project without available feed gas for its operation. Despite substantial progress in constructing the Train-7 plant, the necessary deepwater gas projects required to supply feed gas for Train-7 and future expansions have not been activated by international oil and gas companies (IOCs).

Speaking further, the NLNG Boss, pinpointed  the  challenges and the frantic efforts his organization is putting in place to addressing it.  According to him, insufficient gas supply, operating below the capacity, vandalism, and facility failures are fronting the project. Another challenge is reduced production from the aging well which is capable of disruptions in the gas supply chain.

He said, the challenges faced by the company in obtaining sufficient gas supply, leading to underproduction by its six plants, operating at under 50% of their total capacity. To address these hurdles, Dr. Mshelbila outlined various strategies, including collaborating with security agencies to prevent pipeline vandalism and working with joint venture partners to boost gas production.

Additionally, the Nigeria LNG Board of Directors approved the procurement of gas from both international and indigenous producers to enhance the performance of Trains 1-6. He emphasized that NLNG largely depends on joint venture partners like Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Limited, Total Energies, and Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) for feed gas.

Recall that in October 2023, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas) visited NLNG at Bonny and Dr. Mshelbila told him that the company’s most pressing challenge, threatening both their current operations and future expansion plans, revolves around feed gas supply. According to him, Trains 1 to 6 are operating at roughly 50% of their potential capacity due to prolonged issues in gas supply. This situation persists due to crude oil theft impacting associated gas supply, leaving the plants underutilized not due to a lack of capacity but due to insufficient feed gas availability.

Tobi Reuben Adetunji
Tobi Reuben Adetunji
Tobi Reuben Adetunji, holds a Degree and Master Degree in Political Science from the prestigious, Obafemi Awolowo University, ile-ife Osun and University of Lagos Akoka, Lagos State respectively. His research interests revolve around; African Politics and Economy, Climate Change, Artificial Intelligence, Renewable Energy and information Technology.

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