UTM Offshore Limited, a Lagos-based energy conglomerate owned by Nigerian gas tycoon Julius Rone, has signed an agreement with KBR, JGC Corporation, and Technip Energies to design Nigeria’s first floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility.
The deal was signed on Wed., Nov. 16, in London, the capital and largest city in the United Kingdom, for the front-end engineering design (FEED) of UTM’s natural gas project, which when completed will be Nigeria’s first FLNG plant.
The latest effort comes nearly a year after UTM inked a memorandum of understanding with Afreximbank to finance $2 billion to create an opportunity to support a future final investment decision on the FLNG project.
With the recent FEED contract, UTM will move the FLNG project from the fundraising stage to the implementation phase and will continue working with NNPC Limited and ExxonMobil to expedite the development, exploitation, and monetization of stranded gas resources.
The project’s completion will ensure energy security, access to energy, and clean cooking gas in Nigeria, the region, and beyond, as Europe seeks alternate gas suppliers as the bloc diversifies energy sources away from Russia due to the Ukraine conflict.
With first production from the $1.8-billion FLNG facility expected before 2027, UTM Offshore’s FLNG project will usher in a new age of LNG sector expansion in Nigeria and around the region as energy demand rises.
Rone, CEO of UTM Offshore, stated that Nigeria, with its vast gas reserves, is strategically well positioned to boost its supply to Europe, and that UTM’s FLNG facility will be an enabler of industry expansion and Nigeria’s best practice in addressing critical gas industry challenges.
NJ Ayuk, executive chairman of the African Energy Chamber, commented on the news, stating that Rone has been a true champion of gas in Nigeria and Africa, and his resilience, patience, and outside-the-box thinking with a savvy to bring so many world-class companies and service providers to this project is extraordinary.
“The signing of the deal by UTM Offshore will be a game changer inside Africa’s gas market, which has a big role to play in liberating global economies and the global energy market,” he said.