Nigeria’s move to seek broader frontiers for its Liquefied Natural Gas away from the traditional Asian-pacific hub received a sub-regional push on Wednesday as the Republic of Cote D’ Ivoire signaled its intention to procure LNG supplies from Nigeria in support of its growing power needs.
The package which is the first of its kind in the West African sub-region would see Nigeria commit a small chunk of its daily LNG output which stands at over three billion cubic feet of gas per day, to its sub-regional neighbors in the first instance before the eventual extension of the West Africa Gas Pipeline to Cote D’Ivoire and Senegal.
Leading a delegation from the Ivorien Ministry of Energy to the NNPC Towers Abuja, Kone Moussa, a Director stated that his country would be relying on structural diversion of LNG Cargoes from Nigeria as a starter within the next few months to tackle the growing energy needs. He informed that the country has already entered into a working relationship with Sahara Energy to drive the process.
Receiving the delegation, Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Joseph Dawha, stated that the NNPC is ready to cash in on the opportunity in line with its overall strategic expansion drive for Nigeria’s LNG market.
Dr. Dawha’s perspective was echoed by Dr. David Ige, Group Executive Director, Gas & Power of the NNPC who emphasized that the move would help broaden the supply base.
‘At the moment the entire West African Sub-region starting from Nigeria is undergoing phenomenal economic growth and that practically translates into a higher demand for energy. As you know the West African Gas pipeline terminates in Ghana, so Cote D’Ivoire has come to request that we bring gas to them in the first instance by LNG and ultimately in the future by extension of the pipeline,’’ Dr. Ige said.
He noted that apart from offering a strategic opportunity for NNPC and Nigeria, the project is in line with the NEPAD spirit and would serve the mutual growth of ECOWAS member countries by fostering the economic integration of the West Africa corridor.
‘What this means is that in future we don’t have to go as far as Europe or Asia to supply LNG when we can do so next door,’’ he said.
Earlier a delegation from Ghana led by the Minister of Power, Honourable Kwabena Donkor was at the NNPC Towers to seek support on recent unintended gas supply disruptions in the West Africa Gas Pipeline grid.
Dr. Ige assured that the NNPC is working aggressively with all other partners in the WAGPCO to restore supply disruptions wrought by extraneous factors.
‘It has been a very difficult time not only for Ghana but for Nigeria as well because of the disruptions in pipelines. But I believe and strongly too that the various interventions that are ongoing by the Federal Government would help restore as well as grow the reliability of the WAGP,’’ he said.
Group General Manager
Group Public Affairs Division
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