Tony Attah, Managing Director, NLNG
At a dialogue session during the Nigerian Gas Association 11th International Conference, Managing Director (MD), Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG), Tony Attah gave an insight about the success story of the gas company. He said it is time for gas to be given its rightful place.
According to Attah, “Nigeria has been riding on oil for over fifty years discounting gas, but now Nigeria needs to fly on the wings of gas for the next fifty years.” He said NLNG runs a global business and wants to be a company that will run a better Nigeria. He noted that the world is changing with seven billion people and by 2040 there will be additional two billion people to the world’s population. In essence, the world needs more energy.
The NLNG MD, disclosed that energy demand will grow by 30% with increase in population, the world needs more energy but the dilemma is that the world does not need energy at all cost. He stated further, “The world needs more but the world needs it only if it is clean.” The population is growing with increase in demand but it has to be clean energy which is energy transition. NLNG’s focus is more on changing energy mix against the backdrop of climax change. Attah said renewables is now in the mix and market share is being eroded. From the gas point of view renewables will grow faster than it is today. He made it clear that coal which is the “Dirtiest of fossil fuel will take a back seat with sliding relevance of oil.” Transportation across board will diminish the relevance of oil at 50% including power generation by 2050.
Attah was of the view that Nigeria is a mono economy that is riding on the back of oil. On the contrary, gas will grow by 40% giving hope to the gas industry. NLNG has 6 Trains with 22 million tons and its ambition is to grow by additional 35% capacity to 30 million tons. He said Qatar is ahead of Nigeria with 77 million tons while NLNG is willing to add 30 million tons to the country. Surprisingly, looking at the relativity, Nigeria has gas in abundance with 192 trillion cubic feet (tcf) and this will move the country from its current 10th to 4th position. Thus, “It is not about what you have, but about what you do with it.”
Attah added that Nigeria with 192 tcf there is a lot of opportunities for the West African country. He posited that NLNG is preparing for Train 7 project with Final Investment Decision (FID) to move it forward in the interest of Nigeria and its LNG. The project will address poverty and unemployment issues in the Niger Delta, “If you provide employment, you have actually eliminated one of the menaces including an enabling environment to do business.”
The NLNG MD told participants at the Panel Session that the gas company has delivered more than $100 billion in revenue with $15 billion dividends to government and more than $6.5 billion in taxes. He advised that with many energy plants in the country, the resultant effect in terms of dividends will be enormous.
Attah noted that the focus should be on domestic gas if the country is to progress in industrialization journey and trajectory. Nigeria needs to raise her game by not focusing on gas for export but be concerned about gas for overall development. This will lend credence to what should be done with the gas rather than what it has as reserve. According to Attah, deliberate efforts should be made in terms of execution, “Gas to power is instructive, gas to petrochemical is instructive and gas to fertilizer is instructive.” Energy to the country is crucial with its huge gas reserves, power should not be an issue.
The NLNG MD advocated that the gas sector in Nigeria has to be strategically repositioned with ‘a standalone’ policy that will be focused while the narrative should be changed to ‘gas and oil’ instead of oil and gas. Nigeria globally is recognized more as a gas province than oil. The country needs to create an enabling environment to unleash the potentials of its gas resources.