The African Export-Import Bank said it signed a project preparation facility financing accord with UTM Offshore Limited of Nigeria, the developer of a floating LNG export project.
Executive Vice President Amr Kamel of Afreximbank, which is based in Cairo, signed the accord with UTM Chief Executive Julius Rone.
“It marks a continuation of the support of Afreximbank, which has been leading UTM’s fundraising efforts to secure the necessary investments required for the project’s implementation,” said a statement.
In line with Nigeria’s Petroleum Industry Act and global energy transition efforts, UTM Offshore is developing Nigeria’s first FLNG project in partnership with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. (NNPC) and its affiliate, LNG Investment Management Services.
Afreximbank considers this project “significant” as it is the first FLNG joint venture being developed on the continent by African-owned companies.
UTM is undertaking the development, design and construction of an FLNG facility with nameplate production capacity of 1.2 million metric tonnes per annum and storage capacity of 200,000 cubic metres.
The UTM FLNG unit will be located about 60 kilometres offshore the Nigerian state of Akwa Ibom.
UTM Offshore has given no precise details of likely production totals, though the initial plan was to process around 176 million cubic feet per day of natural gas and condensate.
This FLNG facility is expected to be deployed near the Yoho oil and gas field majority owned by NNPC and whose infrastructure can be used as a hub for additional oil and gas developments.
Nigeria has lagged behind other West African nations such as Cameroon and newcomers like Mauritania and Senegal in establishing FLNG facilities for its extensive natural gas resources. and associated gas in oil fields
The country operates the onshore Nigeria LNG plant at Bonny Island in the Niger Delta where output dropped for a second year in 2021 to 16.42 million tonnes, down almost 22 percent from the 21MT shipped in the previous year. NLNG is also hoping to move forward faster and develop its long-awaited Train 7 project.
The NLNG onshore plant with six liquefaction Trains is owned by four shareholders, Shell, the French and Italian majors TotalEnergies and Eni as well as NNPC, which holds 49 percent of the venture.
The onshore Train 7 contract will also have a de-bottlenecking programme and would add around 8 MTPA of capacity to the Bonny Island facility, taking the total nameplate capacity to around 30 MTPA by 2025.