Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company, NLNG expects to take delivery of four LNG carrier ships before year-end and another two next year, its chief executive said, positioning the state-backed gas exporter to expand its share of the growing market.
NLNG signed agreements with South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries and Hyundai Heavy Industries in 2013 to acquire six LNG carrier ships, costing more than $1.2 billion, to boost its fleet of 23.
It had tapped South Korea Export and Import Bank and other lenders to fund the construction, CEO Babs Omotowa said.
Omotowa said the global market for LNG, natural gas that has been cooled to a liquid form, which shrinks the volume and makes it easier to store and ship, was forecast to grow to 430 million tonnes per year by 2030 from 230 million now.
Nigeria, with the world’s fourth-biggest LNG plant, wants to capture some of that by expanding its market share to more than 10 per cent, a spot it held in 2008, from seven per cent now, Omotowa said, without giving a time frame.
“With our growth projects train seven and train eight, we hope to expand our capacity by 40 per cent and take us back to over 10 per cent,” he said in an interview in Lagos, referring to NLNG’S gas liquefaction production lines. NLNG, located on the Atlantic basin, has the capacity for 12 trains.
NLNG, owned by Nigerian state oil firm NNPC, Royal Dutch Shell, France’s Total and Italy’s Eni, has the capacity to produce 22 million tonnes of LNG a year. The company, set up 15 years ago to produce the gas for export, did not give current capacity figures.
It has long-term supply contracts with Spain’s Repsol, Italy’s Enel, Britain’s BG Group, France’s GDF Suez and Portugal’s Galp. It also sells on the spot market.
Nigeria, one of the world’s top-10 gas rich countries, has estimated reserves of 180 trillion cubic feet, Omotowa said, but it converts only about 1.5 trillion cubic feet per year to LNG.

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