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Ghana Set To Emerge First LNG Importer In Sub-Saharan Africa

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Barring any further change of plans, Ghana will, in the coming weeks, become the first Liquefied Natural Gas importer in sub-Saharan Africa, with the terminal at the Port of Tema set to receive its maiden cargo.
LNG will add to Ghana’s own gas production and imports from Nigeria via the West African Gas Pipeline, though these have been subject to frequent interruptions.
The WAGP, which also provides Nigerian gas to Benin and Togo, is one of only two trans-national gas pipelines in sub-Saharan Africa, the other being a pipeline from Mozambique to South Africa.
Ghana has a deal with Nigeria to receive 120 million standard cubic feet of gas daily. But supply to the country had fallen short of the contractual volume in recent years amid several challenges.
For instance, in 2016, the resurgence of militant attacks in the Niger Delta, which caused Nigeria’s oil production to plummet to a near 30-year low, significantly reduced gas supply to the West Africa gas pipeline.
There are a number of LNG export projects across North and West Africa, but Egypt in 2015 became the first, and so far the only African country to import LNG. But that is set to change as Ghana gears up to begin LNG imports.
“The terminal at Tema will be mechanically ready for full operation at the end of March,” S&P Global Platts quoted a project spokesman as saying on March 4.
“We are waiting for Shell, the supplier, and GNPC as the off-taker to decide and confirm the delivery date for their first cargo to arrive at the terminal,” he said.
It has been expected that the first cargo would arrive by the end of the first quarter of 2021.
The Tema LNG terminal, backed by Helios Investment Partners and Africa Infrastructure Investment Managers, is made up of a dedicated floating regasification vessel and a separate LNG storage vessel, and has the capacity to import 1.7 million mt/year of LNG.
LNG will be supplied under a long-term contract with Shell, which said last month in a strategy presentation that it wanted to grow its LNG market footprint by creating new markets, including being a first supplier of LNG to Ghana.
In January, Spain’s Reganosa was awarded the contract to operate and maintain the terminal as well as an associated 6-km gas pipeline.
“Tema LNG’s year-round supply of gas will enable GNPC to supply reliable and cost-effective gas into the Tema power and industrial enclave,”  the project manager of the Tema LNG Terminal Company, Edmund Agyeman-Duah, said at the time.
For Ghana, the start of LNG imports is seen as a boost for developing its gas-fired power generation sector.
LNG is therefore seen as a quick way for African countries, which are expected to see growing gas demand in the coming years especially for power generation, to gain easier access to gas supplies.
More FSRUs have been planned across sub-Saharan Africa, including in Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Namibia, South Africa, Kenya and Sudan, though none are expected to be realised any time soon.
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Buhari Thumbs Up For NLNG As NNPC Reviews Activities

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) held its head high as it commenced activities for the week following commendation from President Muhammadu Buhari for rallying shareholders to make Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) a company to reckon with.
Buhari who is also the Minister of Petroleum Resources gave the commendation at the ground breaking of the NLNG Train 7, recently.
He said that the NLNG had always been associated with success and had become a global company.
“The NLNG Train 7 represents another historic milestone in the history of NLNG. NLNG story has been associated with success,” he said.
The president also said that the NLNG had contributed 114billion dollars in taxes to Nigeria, and tthat with NLNG Train 7, there would be more jobs that would touch the lives of everyone particularly the host community.
He expressed joy how the NLNG had transformed from just a project to a very successful company in about 30 years.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, urged all shareholders to work hard to ensure the successful completion of the project which he said would boost government’s efforts to make Nigeria a fully industrialised nation.
Sylva also said the project would help the nation’s gas development aspiration.
NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Mallam Mele Kyari, that there was consensus among shareholders and board members to take the next step towards providing additional capacity which should be greater than what was on ground.
The NNPC GMD thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his quick intervention which ensured the eradication of all pre-existing stumbling blocks on the path of NLNG Train 7 project
Also in the week under review, Minister of State for Petroleum, Sylva commended President Buhari at a ceremony to mark the execution of Shareholders Agreement between the NNPC, the Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and Zed Energy.

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Total Nigeria Advocates Petroleum Subsidy Removal

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Managing Director Total Nigeria, Plc, Mr Imrane Barry, says removal of petrol subsidy will help government to redirect its earnings to support infrastructure development for economic growth and development.
Barry made this known when he featured on a roundtable on Downstream and midstream at the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) in Abuja.
He spoke on the topic “The down/midstreams: Paths to the future through holistic and integrated solution”.
He said that signing of the Petroleum Industry Bill would help to unbundle the oil and gas industry and encourage development, private investment and create jobs.
“The petrol subsidy regime costs the country approximately 2.6 billion dollars (N1 trillion) per year and the country can no longer afford it.
“The removal of the subsidy will allow government direct more of its earnings towards infrastructure and social development,” he said.
He said that since government had declared decade of gas, there was need for Investment in Natural Gas.
He added that government needed to continue to push policies that would favour private participation and investment in the gas value chain, production, storage and distribution.
“Also, government needs to give incentives for investors in the sector, tax rebates etc to encourage long term participation.
“In the B2C sector, the government should put in  place incentives for customers to switch from white fuels to gas powered machines for road transportation.
“They should continue investment in the nation’s critical infrastructure that aids trade and commerce,’’ he added.
He further called for the fixing of Apapa ports and other ports in Nigeria, development of interstate road network, fixing of rail lines for human and cargo transportation
Commenting on impact of COVID-19 pandemic to global oil market, he said that it made the market volume shrank by 30% while margins became weak(Losses) with aviation sector mostly affected for the following reasons.
He added that the global economy was badly affected generally due to airport closure, drop in international prices of jet fuel platts which , led to a huge loss in aviation business due to contractual agreement with international airlines coupled with large amount of “old stock” in tank.
“PMS is a regulated product, with the price fixed by the government; resulting in fixed margins.
“The devaluation of the Naira from N360 to N380 during the pandemic, coupled with rising inflation in the country further eroded this “fixed margin” for the players in the downstream sector,” he said
He urged government to ensure speedy passage of the PIB to help the sector play its part effectively.

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Partners Execute Shareholder Agreement For Brass Products Terminal

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC), along with their partner, the Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board, NCDMB, and Zed Energy have executed a shareholders’ agreement for the establishment of a 50 million litre Petroleum Products Terminal in Brass, Bayelsa State.
The N10.5 billion Brass Petroleum Products Terminal project is expected to deliver an automated 50 million litre depot with two-way product jetty, automated loading bay, and 6 automated tanks for storage of 30 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS)and 20 million litres of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) and Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK).
While speaking at the signing ceremony, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his giant strides in the Niger Delta which is making a huge impact on the people of the area.
“I make bold to say today without any fear of contradiction that no President has impacted the people of the Niger Delta like President Muhammadu Buhari. Aside from what we are witnessing today, remember there is also the Brass Fertilizer & Petrochemical Company, the Oloibiri Oil and Gas Museum and the Oil & Gas Park in Ogbia, all under Mr. President,” the Minister stated.
Sylva added that the establishment of the Terminal further demonstrates Mr. President’s commitment to the enhancement of the livelihood of the Niger Delta people particularly, the riverine communities in Bayelsa State where people purchase products at exorbitant prices due to logistics challenges associated with transporting products to that area.
Speaking shortly after signing the agreement, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari said the Corporation was proud to be part of the project which aside ensuring products availability in all nooks and crannies of the Niger Delta, will also guarantee the nation’s energy security and generate employment.
“This Terminal will create 1,000 direct jobs during the construction phase, and over 5,000 indirect jobs during its operation. Considering the potential for employment when completed, this will definitely reduce youth restiveness in the Niger Delta area and will also address the problem of illegal refining in the area,” Kyari stated.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Simbi Wabote stated that this milestone was as a result of strong interagency collaboration and public-private sector partnership.
“The NCDMB will continue to drive such partnerships across the industry to bring development in Nigeria,” he noted.
Earlier, the Coordinator of the Project and Group General Manager, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), Mr. Bala Wunti stated that the project would enhance the economics of marine petroleum products distribution.

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