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Nigeria LNG set for Train 7 EPC award

Market sources suggest Italian-led consortium may have edge although rival said to remain in play

The battle to build a seventh multi-billion dollar train for the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) project on Bonny Island is going down to the wire, with the operator expected to reveal a winner on Wednesday.

Two groups submitted commercial bids in June for an huge engineering, procurement and construction contract, with market sources now suggesting that the SCD Consortium of Saipem, Chiyoda and Daewoo E&C is in the driving seat.

However, Upstream was told today that the B7 consortium - comperising KBR, TechnipFMC and JGC - is not out of the picture and could yet rise to the top of the pile.

Upstream understands that NLNG is poised to sign a letter of intent with the winning consortium on Wednesday morning.

Speaking in early April on project sanction timing, NLNG’s chief executive Tony Attah said: “We have put a stake in the ground with respect to our final investment decision, basically saying that on 31 October this year at 11.20 at our corporate office in Port Harcourt, pen will hit paper, taking that final investment decision.”

Local content was expected to play a key role in NLNG’s decision-making process on the EPC contract, with one source saying previously that meeting this requirement will be “quite expensive”.

In March, the Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and NLNG agreed a Nigerian Content Plan for Train 7.

Simbi Wabote, NCDMB’s executive secretary, said that at peak construction the Train 7 scheme will employ — directly and indirectly — about 10,000 people.

He said all engineering work — except for specialist cryogenic studies — must be carried out in Nigeria, while fabrication of certain equipment will also take place in the country.

SCD and B7 took part in a competitive front-end engineering and design contest, the technical element of which was completed in May.

Assuming project sanction is taken this year, the new train could be up and running in 2023.

The Train 7 project comprises two smaller trains that together will have a processing capacity of 8 million tonnes per annum, boosting total capacity at NLNG from 22 million tpa to 30 million tpa.

Located in Rivers State, the NLNG facility is owned by state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation – which has a 49% stake – while Shell has a 25.6% interest, Total holds 15% and Eni is on 10.4%.

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