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NLNG picks winner for Train 7 in Nigeria

Operator of Bonny Island facility pens LoI with preferred EPC bidder for large expansion project

Nigeria LNG has signed a letter of intent (LoI) with its preferred bidder for construction of Train 7 at its liquefied natural gas plant, paving the way for a final investment decision this year.

The operator of the project on Bonny Island has selected the SCD consortium of Saipem, Chiyoda and Daewoo E&C as its preferred bidder for the engineering, procurement and engineering job for the proposed 8 million tonnes per annum two-train scheme.

Upstream reported in the past 24 hours that NLNG was set to make an announcement on Train 7, with the SCD consortium seen as being in the driving seat for the EPC contract ahead of the B7 consortium - comprising KBR, TechnipFMC and JGC.

The company revealed on social media on Wednesday that it has put pen to paper on the LoI, naming the SCD consortium as the preferred bidder.

NLNG chief executive Tony Attah said signing of the LoI is a "bold" and "very clear statement that we are forging ahead with Train 7" - which is set to raise capacity at NLNG from 22 MMtpa to 30 MMtpa with the addition of two similar-sized small trains.

"With the signing of the LoI, we hope that by the end of October a final investment decision will be signed for Train 7. This will ensure we attain our ambition of increasing our production by 35%," the company said on its Twitter account.

Attah said in early April that the company was intent on sanctioning the project in the fourth quarter, saying: “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."

On Wednesday, NLNG continued on its Twitter account that Timipre Sylva, Nigeria’s newly-installed Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, "is committed to the success of this project", which is seen as attracting "$10 billion to the Nigerian economy".

The SCD and B7 consortia submitted bids for the EPC contract in June after a dual-front-end engineering and design contest was carried out. The technical element of that process was completed in May.

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.

Tagging Wabote in one of its tweets on Wednesday, NLNG said: "Apart from job opportunities and accruable revenue from the huge investment, NLNG Train 7 ... will help in ensuring the availability of cooking gas to (the) Nigerian market."

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

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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