02 February 2017, Abuja – The recently acquired liquefied petroleum gas vessels of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and Sahara Group, MT Africa Gas and MT Sahara Gas are set to commence operations that will see them berth in Houston, the United States, to convey their first consignment of gas expected to be delivered to the West African coast from March 2017.
According to the Sahara Group, the two vessels will address the lingering challenges associated with the supply of the LPG, popularly known as cooking gas, its affordability as well as the fraudulent activities of individuals and organisations seeking to adulterate the product due to its scarcity.
The firm in a statement said MT Africa Gas had already taken the lead by commencing its maiden voyage, sailing towards the Caribbean/US Gulf Region, adding that Sahara Gas was due to follow suit in the coming weeks.
Industry watchers had commended the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, for taking steps at tackling the scarcity of cooking gas nationwide.
Considered as a cleaner, safer and affordable alternative to firewood and kerosene, the acceptability of the LPG in the sub-region has been affected by some challenges over the years.
These hiccups include but not limited to low supply and logistics arising from few or lack of the LPG vessels in the region.
The oil firm, however, noted that with the recent unveiling of the two LPG vessels, being acquisitions driven by West Africa Gas Limited, a joint venture of the NNPC and Sahara Group, there was renewed optimism for cooking gas availability across the country.
It said the two vessels, Hulls 8182 and 8183, were christened Africa Gas and Sahara Gas, respectively at a naming event in Ulsan, South Korea, adding that the JV was run by two companies, NNPC LNG Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the NNPC and Sahara Energy’s oil and gas trading arm, Ocean Bed Trading Ltd (BVI).
“Working through the JV, the 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,” Sahara Group observed in the statement.
On his part, Baru stated that the NNPC remained committed to ensuring uninterrupted supply of cooking gas as well as the adoption of policies to drive sustainable development across the entire energy value chain of the nation’s oil and gas sector.