The liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vessels, MT Africa Gas and MT Sahara Gas, jointly acquired by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Sahara Group have left South Korea to begin operations.
The vessels will berth in Houston, United States, to convey their first consignment of gas expected to be delivered to the West African coast next month. The vessels’ operations are expected to actualise NNPC’s vision, which harps on boosting the availability of the commodity in Nigeria and the West African sub-region.
According to Sahara Group spokesman, Bethel Obioma, the two vessels will address the lingering challenges of supply, affordability and fraudulent activities of individuals and organisations seeking to adulterate cooking gas due to scarce supply.
MT Africa Gas has already taken the lead, commencing its maiden voyage by sailing towards the Caribbean/US Gulf Region. Sahara Gas is due to follow suit in the coming weeks. He said industry stakeholders have commended the Dr. Maikanti Baru led NNPC for taking bold steps at tackling the scarcity of cooking gas nationwide.
The stakeholders lauded Baru’s giant interventions towards ensuring sustainability, safety and reliability for millions of consumers, who depend on the commodity for their daily energy needs.
Considered as a cleaner, much safer and more affordable alternative to firewood and kerosene, the acceptability of LPG in the sub-region has been affected by some challenges over the years. These hiccups include low supply, poor logistics and lack of LPG vessels in the region.
According to him, with the recent unveiling of two LPG vessels, being acquisitions of West Africa Gas Limited, a Joint Venture of NNPC and Sahara Group, there is a renewed optimism for what is popularly referred to as cooking gas in the country.
The Joint Venture is run by two companies, NNPC LNG Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NNPC and Sahara Energy’s oil and gas trading arm of Ocean Bed Trading Limited.
Working through the JV, NNPC’s LPG policy will, in addition to improving supply within West African states, check the menace of deforestation in the sub region. “It is expected that in the long run, the growing negative impact of climate change across the globe will be drastically reduced,” Obioma said.
The NNPC’s chief had at the inauguration of the LPG vessels in South Korea, said it was “an outstanding achievement” for Nigeria, considering the fact “that the Joint Venture between NNPC and Sahara is already recording success stories within a short period having been established in 2013”.
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