Bonny Gas Transport (BGT)The Bonny Gas Transport (BGT), a subsidiary of Nigeria Liquefied and Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) is to take delivery of four out of the six Dual Fuel Diesel Electric (DFDE) vessels it placed order for before the end of this year.

Specifically, the vessels , constructed by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI), are expected in Nigeria between December 9 and end of the year.

The company explained yesterday that the remaining two of the carriers ordered from SHI, are to be delivered next year.

NLNG explained that two of the carriers from HHI are enhanced with a capacity of 177,000 cubic metres, a length of 299 metres and a breath of 46 metres, while four others put together by SHI boast of 174,900M.

According to NLNG, the new vessels demonstrate the company’s determination to successfully “ride out the turbulence currently affecting the energy industry and remain a trusted partner and contributor to global energy security”.

Speaking on Wednesday at the ship naming ceremony at Hyundai Heavy Industries Shipyard in Ulsan, Korea, the Vice President BGT and Managing Director of NLNG, Babs Omotowa described the event as a symbol of enthusiasm with which Nigeria as a nation is reinforcing and consolidating its position “not just as Africa’s largest economy today but also preparing for a future of security, greatness and economic prosperity”.

Omotowa said, “This August ceremony also prepares us for the future with plans for expansion of operation. NLNG is currently planning for an additional train that will increase its production capacity from 22 to 30 metric tonnes per annum. Our shipping capacity must also grow to meet the demands of this expansion”.

The NLNG boss pointed out that as part of the company’s local content vision, some Nigerian companies, for the first time, has participated in the construction of our vessels here in Ulsan”.

According to Omotowa, the companies involved are Nexans KabelMetal, Berger Paints, Paints and Coating Manufacturing Nigeria and Metec West Africa, who “supplied cables, paints and anodes valued at over $10 million”.

Also, he disclosed that over 100 young Nigerian technicians have benefited from NLNG partnership in developing local skills in ship design and construction.

Omotowa added that after training of about 64 of the Nigerians, they were given the opportunity to be part of the construction of the new vessels built by HHi. “We can only describe this partnership as one of excellence”.

The four vessels were subsequently christened LNG Lagos 11, with wife of the Lagos State Governor, Bolale Ambode as ‘godmother’; LNG Bonny 11 with the wife of King Edward Asimini William Dappa-Pepple, the natural ruler of Grand Bonny Kingdom, Paula Tamunoipiriye, as ‘godmother’.

The two vessels from SHI, named LNG FINIMA 11 has the wife of the Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mrs Elizabeth Ibe Kachukwu as “godmother’; while the wife of the River State Governor, Mrs Suzzette Nyesom-Wike is ‘godmother’ to LNG Port Harcourt 11.

Three of the ‘godmothers’ were present at the ceremony while Mrs Elizabethe Ibe Kachukwu was represented by NLNG General council/Company secretary, Edith Unuigbe.

Omotowa said, “There is no question as to the history being made here today. This is not the first we would do this with Hyundai

Heavy Industries. We have worked as partners in the past to build seven vessels and it is not by chance that we associate with the best in ship construction.

“LNG Rivers and LNG Sokoto were named here in 2002. LNG Bayelsa followed in 2003. Then came along LNG Akwa Ibom. LNG Adamawa and LNG River Niger in 2003 and 2004. These ships are hallmarks of our shipping capacity and have delivered huge value to making our companies very successful. They have blazed sea routes with our products, leaving a trail of excellence behind in each port and terminal.

We want to continue as trailblazer and for this reason we came back. HHI remains the world’s largest shipbuilder with a strong track record in the construction of LNG and other marine vessels.

“Our relationship has been mutually beneficial and we are delighted to note the story of collaboration between HHI and Nigeria LNG and BGT continues to one of confidence, top class performance and access. And it is no surprise that we are together after more than a decade and half”.

The Charge d’ Affairs at Nigeria Embassy in Korea, Momoh Sheidu Omeiza said the present acquisition of newer and modern LNG Ships further widens the company’s aspiration “for which the management deserve praise and I am very sure that BTG will gather more prases from well-meaning Nigerians for this wonderful stride that will further enhance Nigeria’s participation in a competitive international Gas market”.

He expressed appreciation for the HHI’s endless hours at watching out for details and ensuring quality control during the ships building process.

He said, “Korean products speaks for its quality and integrity and I believe that BGT sooner than later will be encouraged by that to place for more ships. The satisfactory execution of the present contract agreement should be the beginning of a mutually assuring relationship.”

By Pita Ochai

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