MT Sahara Gas, the newly built vessel acquired by the West Africa Gas Limited (WAGL), has delivered 7,000 metric tonnes (MT) of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), in its historic maiden voyage to Nigeria, to boost availability and safe access to the commodity widely referred to as cooking gas.
WAGL is a Joint Venture (JV) between Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and leading energy conglomerate, Sahara Group. The JV is run by two companies, NNPC LNG Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of NNPC, and Sahara Energy’s oil and gas trading arm, Ocean Bed Trading Ltd. (BVI).
WAGL in January 2017, acquired two new vessels, MT Africa Gas, and MT Sahara Gas, in its bid to reduce transportation bottlenecks, add value to the Nigeria economy through exporting the commodity, deepen the LPG market in West Africa as well as enhance access to clean and safe energy.
The acquisitions were also a strategic response to the lingering challenges of supply, affordability and fraudulent activities motivated by scarcity of LPG also known as cooking gas.
NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said in keeping with the Federal Government’s economic growth plan, WAGL remained committed to stabilising the market and ensuring sustainability of the commodity through strategic deliveries within the sub-region.
“This is a historic achievement for the NNPC and Sahara Group that showcases a truly successful partnership by all global standards.
The quest is to achieve uninterrupted supply of the commodity and address infrastructural limitations as we continue to implement our zero tolerance policy against adulterated products and their promoters across the nation.”
Baru said the NNPC/Sahara Group partnership remained a model for successful JVs, adding that both parties were considering various strategies to optimise the delivery of the product across West Africa.
Speaking aboard the vessel, the Managing Director, Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Umar Isa Ajiya, said it was a significant and important milestone not only for Nigeria, but also for Africa and the entire shipping and maritime industry.
“We have a brand new LPG vessel, built by 100% fully owned Nigerian entities and it has picked up LPG from Bonny and brought it to Lagos.
This is the first time we are having a wholly owned shipping vessel bringing product to our shores.
This is an opportunity to grow and deepen the LPG market in Nigeria such that the use of firewood will come to an end sooner than later.