The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation is to start supplying liquefied Natural Gas to Cote d’ Ivoire
NIGERIA’s move to seek broader frontiers for its Liquefied Natural Gas away from the traditional Asian-pacific hub received a sub-regional push as Cote d’ Ivoire has signaled its intention to get 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.
Kone Moussa, a director from the Ivorien ministry of energy who led the delegation, to the NNPC Towers Abuja, 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 its growing energy needs. According to him, Cote d’ Ivoire has already entered into a working relationship with Sahara Energy to drive the process.
Receiving the delegation, Joseph Dawha, group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, said the NNPC was ready to cash in on the opportunity in line with its overall strategic expansion drive for Nigeria’s LNG market.
Dawha’s perspective was echoed by David Ige, group executive director, Gas and Power of the NNPC who emphasised 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,’’ 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 Kwabena Donkor, minister of power, was at the NNPC Towers to seek support on recent unintended gas supply disruptions in the West Africa Gas Pipeline grid. 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 in a statement Ohi Alegbe, group general manager, Group Public Affairs Department of NNPC made available to Realnews on Thursday, March 12.