While the indigenous ship owners continue to groan over lack of funding to build sustainable capacity and fleet that would enable them participate actively in the country’s multi-million dollar shipping business, Nigeria LNG Limited’s (NLNG), has surpassed this hurdle to acquire fleets that is currently playing big in the country’s chartering market.
The company, which is owned by four shareholders including the Federal Government of Nigeria represented by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC); Shell Gas BV; Total LNG Nigeria Limited and Eni International, has chartered over 45 vessels to charterers for shipment of LNG, LPG and Condensate.
Temilola Okesanjo, general manager, shipping, who disclosed this while delivering a paper in Lagos on Thursday, titled, ‘NLNG- Global player in the Chartering Market,’ at the Multimodal (Logistics) West Africa Conference, the largest Transport & Logistics Exhibition in West Africa, said the company has chartered 45 vessels for shipments of LNG, LPG and Condensate.
According to him, the company has invested in the acquisition of over 23 LPG carriers each worth over $200 million, and this enables it to take the responsibility of delivering products at the destination ports of buyers in countries like Japan, USA, North America, Spain, France, and Portugal .
Okesanjo, who stated NLNG shipping operations rely on the strategic deployment of skills and technology to power transform into a global maritime industry leader, confirmed that the Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIS) gas trade policy, has helped the company to develop its shipping business by allowing it to transport sold products to buyers across the globe.
“NLNG currently operates the largest fleet of LNG carriers in the country and has in its operations portfolio, a total of 23 vessels, three different ship owners and four fleet managers, making the company a formidable player in the chartering market. “And it has continued to deploy skilled manpower and cutting edge technology to sustain growth” pointed.
Continuing, he said: “The shipping aspect of our business is being positioned for emerging market opportunities through a revamped chartering structure designed to optimise available shipping capacity. The evolving market conditions demand flexible shipping portfolios as conventional shipping structures are being challenged,” Okesanjo stated.
Okesanjo further said that NLNG’s shipping operations had adapted to more cost effective strategies, which is also more challenging in a competitive global maritime market, especially in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear incident in Japan in 2011.
“One of the primary impacts of Fukushima was the need for cargo diversions, sometimes away from traditional routes, to discharge at ports in the Far and Middle East as well as adjustments to operating capacity requirements. All this is in our endeavour to find profitable takers for the 22 million tonnes per annum capacity of our six train production plant at Bonny.”
With 11 buyers on 16 contracts to base destinations in Europe and North America, he added that the company has realised considerable revenue from opportunistic diversions and sub-charters. “NLNG’s operational modality involves the provision of adequate shipping capacity to lift contractual volumes from our terminal at Bonny in Rivers State, facilitating the implementation of diversion requests to longer distances proposed by buyers.
This, he said also enables the company to charter out surplus capacity to ensure full utilisation of capacity, and avoid having idle ships. He added that NLNG recently retired six vessels built between 1977 and 1982, and they were replaced by six new once built with modern technology by Samsung and Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea.