The Federal Government has appealed to the partners in the Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) project to allow the transportation of third-party gas through its joint pipelines to increase gas supply to the plant.
A statement by Horatius Egua, the spokesman to the Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, on Monday, said following the refusal of the joint partners Shell, Chevron, NNPC and others, to allow third parties to transport gas through their pipelines to the NLNG Trains, the company has been unable to operate at full capacity thus causing its inability to meet both domestic and international gas obligations.
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The NLNG is at present only able to produce at about 70 per cent installed capacity.
Sylva in an audience with the new Italian Ambassador to Nigeria Mr. Sefano De Leo, in Abuja, on Monday said if the NLNG partners relaxe their rules and allow third party supply gas to the NLNG, the company will be able to provide gas to help ease European Union’s gas crisis.
He said, “The issue we have with the existing NLNG Trains is that of insufficient gas supply. The partners are running out of gas and they are refusing third party to supply gas to the Trains. The partners are insisting that they can only allow third party supply gas to the plant only if they agree to supply at subsidized rates. These people of course want to make money and they cannot supply at subsidized rates and that’s why the NLNG Trains cannot produce at fully capacity.
“The partners can afford to supply at subsidized rates because they are partners in the NLNG project not the third parties. This is a very critical issue I want to discus with the respective partners to see how we can resolve this problem so that we can increase the production capacity of the NLNG,” Sylva said.
He also sought the cooperation of the Italian government in providing support for night helicopter rescue operations in the country adding that at the moment helicopters cannot fly in the night in Nigeria thus foreclosing any rescue operations at night.
He said: “For us, this is a very important matter. We want to develop a 24 hours economy. We want a situation where helicopters can fly 24 hours in Nigeria”.
In his response, De Leo stressed the importance of Nigeria in Africa.
He said, “At the moment, the EU wants to diversify its energy sources especially gas and Nigeria is very strategic to us. We have been long-standing friends and partners and one of the most important one for that matter.”