The Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Ltd. says it is seeking seven billion dollars, about (N2.5 trillion) from the global financial markets to ensure sustainability of its operations.
A statement by Mr Andy Odey, the Manager, Communications and Public Affairs of NLNG, on Tuesday in Lagos, said the fund was also for expansion project to increase production capacity from 22 Million tons Per Annum (MTPA) to 30 MTPA.
According to him, the loan is build-up toward Final Investment Decision (FID) scheduled later in the year.
Odeh said that the company was presently holding a ceremony in London to commemorate the repayment of a 5.45 billion dollars shareholder loan for its existing trains.
The statement quoted the Managing Director of NLNG, Mr Tony Attah as saying “the funds being sought would cover the company’s expansion programme (construction of Train 7)’’.
Attah said that the loan would also be invested in the upstream gas sector in Nigeria to ensure the sustainability of feed-gas supply to its existing trains (Trains 1 to 6) and the new Train 7.
According to him, NLNG is a mid-stream company that has monetised over 5.96 Trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of Associated Gas (AG) which will have otherwise been flared thus helping to build a better Nigeria.
“What we are doing is not just looking to fund the expansion of the plant but also to ensure sustainability of feed-gas supply to the plant for the continued success of NLNG.
“All of these align with our belief that gas is a catalyst for industrial and economic transformation which will position Nigeria to become a leading gas producing country.
“The success story of the NLNG project is due to some key critical success factors which include the shareholding and governance structure of the company that has made the company an independent Incorporated Joint Venture.
“It also guaranteed an independent Board of Directors, effective decision making as well as funding for its projects which is critical for the sustenance of this successful project.’’
He said that over decades, the company has raised funds for its projects from a combination of shareholders loans, Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and third party loans.
“In all of these financial ventures, NLNG demonstrated financial discipline and character by abiding by loan covenants, terms and conditions without a single breach or default, and we believe this positions the company as a Lenders delight .
“The consolidated loan contributed toward funding the base project, expansion project, NLNG plus project and Train 6.
“The final repayment, which is a milestone for NLNG and Nigeria, thus sends a strong message to the world that NLNG has come of age and will build on this in its expansion programme.
“This will further increase our output and secure our position in the top quartile of LNG suppliers globally.
“Our financial credibility speaks for itself and we will be testing the financial market once again with our sustainability and expansion projects estimated at 7 billion dollars.’’
According to Attah, raising seven billion dollars is no small feat, anywhere in the world, this will be a major event.
“Therefore, we will be seeking support from the local and international financial institutions, our shareholders and the Nigerian government in bringing to reality the dreams of our founding fathers and achieving our vision of helping to build a better Nigeria,” he said.
The statement also quoted the Deputy Managing Director of NLNG, Sadeeq Mai-Bornu as saying “NLNG has contributed immensely to Nigeria’s economy since its inception when the first LNG cargo was loaded in Oct. 1999’’.
Mai-Bornu said that the company had paid more than 33 billion dollars in dividend .
He also said that payment to Joint Venture (JV) feed-gas suppliers by NLNG from inception till date amounted to some 24 billion dollars.
He said that the participants at the shareholders loan repayment ceremony included members of NLNG Board of Directors, potential lenders and global financial institutions.
The NLNG is a private limited liability company owned by the Federal Government of Nigeria, with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC (49%) representation, Shell Gas B.V. (25.6%), Total Gaz Electricity Holdings France (15%), and Eni International (10.4%).