Abuja — The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has revealed that 223 companies have indicated interest to serve as off-takers for its Natural Gas Liquids, NGL, for 2019 and 2020.
Speaking in Abuja, during the 2019 Natural Gas Liquids, NGL, bid opening ceremony, Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, disclosed that the increase in the number of companies bidding was as a result of the NNPC’s emphasis on encouraging increased local participation.
Baru, who was represented by Chief Operating Officer, Gas, and Power of the NNPC, Mr. Saidu Mohammed, also stated that it was committed to ensuring that domestic supply of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, also known as cooking gas, would exceed demand in the country.
Baru blamed the current low consumption of LPG in Nigeria on lack of penetration of the commodity across the length and breadth of the country, added that the planned increase in the supply of cooking gas would be driven by its current initiative of undertaking transparent competitive bidding and evaluation process to select off-takers for the commodity.
He said, “This time around we are not only focused on lifting and sending it out, but we are also focusing on the maximum value within the nation. In order words, we want to use this kind of transaction to propel the LPG market throughout the nation to the level it deserves.
“Today, Nigeria is one of the lowest in per capita consumption of LPG, simply because we cannot penetrate. The only way to penetrate is to, first of all, make the products available; afterward, people would come and invest in it by way of storing it, transporting and distributing it.
“Most importantly, we want to do that transparently to ensure that we get the right partners that would have the calibre that we need, in terms of investments, capital layout, and the marketability to penetrate the nooks and crannies of this country.
“The volumes of LPG available would be beyond the demand of this nation. We have been exporting all these volumes. We have dedicated about 7,000 metric tonnes before; we are increasing that for the local market. The whole volume is not the only source of LPG for us; we are getting LPG from NLNG. We are compelled to supply some of the volumes to the domestic market.
“With our refineries coming up and with the coming up of some private sector players LPG supply should be in abundance in this country.”
Baru further stated that the corporation’s strategic focus in the coming months was to expand domestic LPG supply from its established local sources, while also encouraging investments in storage, marketing, and distribution infrastructure.