Nigeria’s quest for energy transition received a huge boost on Wednesday when an indigenous firm, UTM Offshore Limited, signed agreement with three technical partners, Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR) UK, Japan Gas Corporation (JGC) and TechnipEnergies Limited, for the commencement of the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) for Nigeria’s first Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) facility.
The agreements were signed in London, a statement indicated, with UTM stating that they entail conducting various studies on the project’s cost prior to the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) phase of the project expected to be done in 10 months.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, applauded the pioneering efforts of Mr Julius Rone and UTM and said that the federal government would continue to support and create the enabling environment for business investments in the country, especially in the area of gas development.
He said, “The PIA is already improving the petroleum industry’s reputation, paving the way for new investments, creating jobs, supporting the economic diversification agenda and strengthening Nigeria’s ability to fulfil the world’s expanding energy demand.”
While stressing the significance of innovation, technology and policy as key drivers of change in the energy sector, Sylva said, “We have already proclaimed that gas is our transition fuel and a destination fuel, and we anticipate that it will be a major component of our energy mix by the year 2060.
“There are generous incentives to enable development, distribution, penetration, and utilisation of gas. This is why the UTM project will involve the development and financing of a 1.52 million tonnes per annum FLNG facility with a capacity to process 176 million standard cubic feet of natural gas per day and condensate.”
The Managing Director of UTM Offshore Ltd, Mr Julius Rone, said, “In Africa, especially Nigeria, energy transition is steeped in harnessing our abundant gas resources,” adding that the firm is ready to tap into the about 600 trillion cubic feet of gas in Nigeria.
The President of the African Export Import Bank (AfreximBank), Professor Benedict Okay Oramah, lauded the tenacious and transparent pursuit of the FLNG project by Mr Rone and his team and pledged the full backing of the bank for the project.
In December, 2021, UTM Offshore Limited and AfreximBank signed a $5bn MoU for the financing of the UTM FLNG which is expected to come into operation by 2026.