Home » Nigerian energy tycoon Tope Shonubi invests $142 million in two LPG vessels

Nigerian energy tycoon Tope Shonubi invests $142 million in two LPG vessels

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Tope Shonubi

Sahara Group, the energy conglomerate controlled by Nigerian tycoon Tope Shonubi, has recently completed a deal to acquire two liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vessels.

The move aligns with the conglomerate’s commitment to advancing clean energy access in Africa and supporting the continent’s transition toward sustainable energy sources.

Sources familiar with the agreement revealed that Sahara Group, headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), finalized contracts for the two 40,000-cubic meter capacity carriers in Singapore two weeks ago. The deal was made with HD Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (HD KSOE), based in Ulsan.

The two LPG carriers, valued at $71 million each, will bolster Sahara Group’s strategic investments to facilitate safe, reliable, and sustainable access to LPG — an energy source widely recognized for its cleanliness and ability to serve large populations.

The vessels are expected to be delivered by Hyundai Mipo Shipyard (HMD) in Ulsan. One vessel is scheduled for delivery in December 2025, with the other to follow in early 2026. HMD, a major shipbuilding company, holds a 50-percent global share in Product Carrier (PC) ships. Since the 1980s, they have repaired and converted more than 10,000 ships until 2005 and delivered 400 newly ordered vessels until 2009.

Sahara Group’s subsidiary, Sahara Energy, already holds stakes in four vessels registered under West Africa Gas (also known as West Africa LPG), a joint venture between Nigerian National Petroleum Corp and Ocean Bed Trading — a subsidiary of Sahara Energy.

The joint venture currently owns four LPG carriers, including the 38,148-cubic-meter capacity Africa Gas and Sahara Gas (both built in 2017), as well as the 23,000-cubic-meter capacity Sapet Gas and Barumk Gas (built in 2022).

Sahara Group was established in 1996 by Shonubi, Tonye Cole, and Ade Odunsi as Sahara Energy Resources, initially focused on petroleum product trading.

Over the years, it has expanded into one of Nigeria’s largest companies, with oil production, electricity generation, and oil trading operations.

With a presence in over 40 countries, Sahara Group has achieved annual revenues of $10 billion in its 25-year history and employs more than 4,000 people.

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