The federal government announced over the weekend that it was reviving the over $22 billion abandoned Brass Liquefied Natural Gas (BLNG) project in Bayelsa in order to increase commodity production and supply.
During an inspection of the project site in Twon Brass, Bayelsa State, with management of Greenville LNG, an interested investor in the project, Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr Timipre Sylva, stated that the government was eager to complete the project because of the numerous economic benefits it will bring to the country.
The Brass LNG concept, which has trains 1-4 and an annual projected capacity of 8.4 million metric tons, was launched in 2005 with a groundbreaking ceremony on May 14, 2005, performed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
This amount included the cost of acquiring the land, the Front End Engineering Design (FEED), the Pre-FEED Concept Evaluation Study (PFCES), and the project Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
Initially, the BLNG had a number of shareholders, including the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), which owned 49% of the company, and Conoco Philips, Total, and ENI International, which owned 17% each.
It is estimated that the country has lost over $24 billion in revenue and approximately 18, 000 direct jobs as a result of the project’s inability to move forward.
The Final Investment Decision (FID) for the critical gas project, which sits on 606 hectares of land, was supposed to have been made in 2007, with investment expected to be recouped within the first five years.
The Final Investment Decision (FID) for the critical gas project, which sits on 606 hectares of land, was supposed to have been made in 2007, with investment expected to be recouped in the first five years.
It was conceived and designed to help monetise the nation’s natural gas resources, reduce gas flaring, and provide employment opportunities for Niger Delta youths.
However, according to a statement issued by the minister’s spokesman, Horatius Egua, Sylva was accompanied on the tour of the project site by the Chairman and Managing Director of Greenville LNG, Mr Eddy Van Den Broeke, and Ritu Sahajwalla.
It quoted the minister as saying that the federal government would prioritize the project because of its current policy focus on gas exploration in the region.
Sylva stated that because the government intends to refocus its energy on tapping its abundant gas resources, it is looking for new investors to resurrect the project from its current coma.
“You are aware of the government’s policy regarding gas. We want to use gas as a transition fuel while also diversifying our economy. “You know, you can get so many things with gas, and I’ve said that we can truly diversify our economy through gas,” he said.
The minister, who acknowledged the difficulties in successfully completing the project in the past, stated that the government would do everything possible to encourage Greenville NLG to invest in partially funding the multi-billion dollar project.
“We want this project to succeed during this difficult period, and we will do everything in our power to ensure that the final investment decision is made as soon as possible.”
“Greenville LNG is a major player in this sector, and we know that they are committed to seeing this project through to completion.” “We will continue to discuss and offer the necessary incentives to get this project up and running,” Sylva added.
While congratulating President Muhammadu Buhari on “creating an enabling environment” for businesses in the country, the minister urged Western nations to increase their investments in the country’s oil and gas sector.
He bemoaned the speed with which investments were pulled out of Nigeria in the past, claiming that it was unsustainable.
“We are advocating for increased investment in the hydrocarbons sector of the economy, particularly in gas.” We are encouraging companies that are interested in gas to pursue it. “We have sufficient gas reserves in the country, and we encourage anyone with capacity to bring in their investments,” Sylva said.
The Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), Eni, and Total are the current investors in the Brass LNG project.
For weeks, Europe has been putting pressure on Nigeria to increase its gas production and supply to the continent, an opportunity that the government has failed to capitalize on due to a lack of infrastructure.