Duo set to submit price offers for new LNG train in Nigeria

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Two groups vying to build a seventh, multi-billion-dollar liquefied natural gas train at the Nigeria LNG project in Bonny Island are set to submit commercial bids within days.

One market source said prices for an engineering, procurement and construction contract are due to be sent to NLNG’s stakeholders as soon as “next week” by the B7 consortium of KBR, TechnipFMC and JGC, and the SCD Consortium made up of Saipem, Chiyoda and Daewoo E&C.

The two consortia have been taking part in a competitive front-end engineering and

design contest, the technical element of which was completed in May. Local content is expected to play a key role in NLNG’s decision-making process on the EPC contract, with one source saying that meeting this requirement will be “quite expensive”.

This source went on to suggest that the commercial offers are likely to offer a “balance between price and local content.” In March, the Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and NLNG signed what they called 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.

According to a recent NLNG expression of interest issued to domestic suppliers, “anticipated local content opportunities” include the fabrication of non-cryogenic pressure vessels and heat exchangers, and construction of the jetty and LNG export loading/offloading systems.

Among other workscopes that are seen as likely to be carried out in Nigeria are installation, hook-up and commissioning of the liquefaction trains.

Once commercial bids from the two consortia have been opened, NLNG will evaluate them and embark on clarification meetings, before any contract award and a final investment decision.

Speaking in early April, 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.”

Based on this plan, he said the new train could be up and running in 2023.

The Train 7 project actually 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.

When originally conceived, the NLNG partners were looking at an ambitious plan to add two new liquefaction trains under a project called Seven Plus that would have included a pair of mega-trains each with capacity of as much as 8 million tpa.

However, that project was shelved more than a decade ago and feed work on the current, more modest version started last summer.

Feedstock for Train 7 will be sourced from a number of greenfield upstream projects, including two operated by Anglo-Dutch supermajor Shell — Bonga South West-Aparo and HI.

Located in Rivers State, the NLNG facility is owned by state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation with a 49% stake, as well as partners Shell with 25.6%, Total with 15% and Eni with 10.4%.

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