29 January 2012, Sweetcrude, LAGOS – The Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG) plans to acquire six ships and has opened talks with international financiers to raise $1 billion required for the purpose.
Ms Siene Allwell-Brown, NLNG general manager for external relations, disclosed this to Reuters Saturday, stating that the company’s board met on Thursday to discuss the appointment of advisers for the loan process.
The company will soon name the financial advisers for the deal, she said.
According to Allwell-Brown, the loan will enable NLNG, which is owned jointly by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell, France’s Total, and Italy’s Eni subsidiary Agip, to acquire more ships for gas transportation.
“We have contacted global banks from which we will choose a financial adviser who will give us the best option through which we will raise at least a $1 billion loan to acquire six LNG carriers for our operations,” Allwell-Brown said.
Reuters reports that it was not yet decided which bank would lead-manage the deal, nor from which company they would source the ships.
Nor did Allwell-Brown provide a timetable for when the company expects to close the transaction but said that the loan aims to expand the operations of its shipping subsidiary, Bonny Gas Transport Limited, which currently has 24 LNG ships.
NLNG was set up over two decades ago to harness Nigeria’s natural gas resources and produce liquefied natural gas and natural gas liquids for export.
The company has long-term supply contracts with buyers in Italy, Spain, Turkey, Portugal and France and also sells on the spot market, Allwell-Brown said.
It has a capacity to produce 22 million metric tonnes of liquefied gas a year. It obtains its gas supply from the upstream oil companies and liquefies it for export.