In Nigeria, the pursuit of clean and efficient energy sources is paramount. Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) have gained prominence in the country's energy landscape. This blog explores LNG and LPG as sustainable fuels, their key producers in the country, the differences between both and why they are essential for Nigeria's energy needs.
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG): Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) has emerged as a critical player in the realm of global energy, offering a cleaner and more versatile alternative to traditional fossil fuels. The process of liquefying natural gas involves cooling it to incredibly low temperatures, around -260°F (-162°C), causing it to transform into a cryogenic liquid. This transformation reduces its volume significantly, making it feasible for efficient storage and transportation. One of the defining characteristics of LNG is its adaptability across a wide range of applications. It serves as a valuable resource for electricity generation, industrial processes, transportation, and even residential and commercial use in Nigeria. Its versatility makes it a compelling choice for a variety of energy needs. A notable advantage of LNG lies in its environmental benefits. When compared to coal and oil, LNG generates fewer carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per unit of energy. It is widely recognized as a transitional fuel in the global effort to reduce carbon emissions. Additionally, LNG combustion results in lower emissions of harmful pollutants such as sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and particulate matter, leading to improved air quality. Furthermore, LNG's energy efficiency is a crucial factor in its favor. Its high energy density means that it delivers more energy per unit of volume, reducing waste and resource consumption. This efficiency contributes to its appeal for various applications, including power generation, industrial processes, and transportation. On a global scale, LNG is gaining increasing significance in the context of the energy transition. It enhances energy security by diversifying energy sources, reducing dependence on a single supplier or fuel type. Moreover, LNG is a globally traded commodity, with liquefaction facilities in multiple countries. This facilitates international energy trade, promoting energy security and access.
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) finds diverse applications across several key industries in Nigeria. It is a preferred fuel for power generation, contributing to the country's electricity supply. Industries like manufacturing, petrochemicals, and food processing rely on LNG for their energy needs. Additionally, it is adopted in the transportation sector, reducing emissions and fuel costs in commercial vehicles. In residential and commercial settings, it is employed for heating and cooking, offering a cleaner alternative to traditional fuels. The maritime industry is also turning to LNG as a more environmentally friendly marine fuel. Notably, Nigeria is a significant exporter of LNG to global markets, facilitating international energy trade. These applications of LNG align with Nigeria's commitment to cleaner energy sources, reduced emissions, and sustainability.
In Nigeria, two key LNG producers stand out among others: Greenville LNG and Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG).
Greenville Liquefied Natural Gas Limited, established in 2015, made significant strides in the industry. In 2016, they installed three gas liquefaction trains at the Rumuji plant, and by 2018, the Greenville LNG plant was successfully commissioned. It was in April 2019 that they commenced the production and distribution of LNG.
Founded in Nigeria, a country teeming with energy resources, including a vast gas reserve of 208.62 trillion cubic feet (tcf) and substantial oil and condensate reserves of 37.046 billion barrels. With a population exceeding 200 million, Nigeria stands as the most populous black nation globally. Despite these abundant natural resources, Nigeria has grappled with energy poverty, hindering socio-economic development.
Greenville Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Limited pioneered the production and distribution of LNG for domestic use within Nigeria, employing an innovative virtual pipeline system to supply gas to all six geopolitical zones in the country. Greenville also has LNG refueling stations at 7 locations in Nigeria. More are being planned.
It not only provides LNG but also offers comprehensive LNG-based power solutions. They assume an advisory role in assessing customers' power and energy needs, guiding them on suitable gas generator capacities, cryogenic storage tank sizes, gas flow rates, vaporizer capacities, and other relevant accessories. Additionally, they provide recommendations for future expansion of LNG storage and supply capabilities.
NLNG Limited: Nigeria LNG Limited, commonly known as NLNG, is a leading force in the global Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) industry. Established in 1989, NLNG has played a pivotal role in transforming Nigeria into a significant player in the LNG market. Today, NLNG has a total production capacity of 22 Million Tonnes Per Annum (mtpa) of LNG and 5mtpa of Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs) from its six-train plant complex.
The formation of NLNG marked a significant milestone in Nigeria's energy landscape. The company was established as a result of a joint venture between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Shell, Total, and Eni, representing a true synergy of international and domestic expertise.
NLNG operates one of the world's largest LNG plants located on Bonny Island in the Niger Delta. This state-of-the-art facility has the capacity to produce and export millions of metric tons of LNG annually. It showcases Nigeria's immense potential as an LNG powerhouse.
NLNG's operations have solidified Nigeria's position in the global LNG market. The company's LNG is exported to various countries, contributing to energy security and sustainable development worldwide. Its excellence in LNG production and export has earned it a reputation as a trusted and reliable supplier.
Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) like LNG, offers a cleaner and versatile alternative to traditional fossil fuels. It is a by product of natural gas processing and crude oil refining. LPG undergoes a process of compression and liquefaction, reducing it to a liquid state. This transformation allows for efficient storage and transportation, making it a convenient energy source. LPG finds widespread use across various applications, including residential and commercial heating, cooking, transportation, and industrial processes. Its adaptability and efficiency make it a compelling choice for a range of energy needs. Notably, LPG stands out for its environmental benefits, emitting fewer carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per unit of energy compared to coal and oil. It is considered a transitional and cleaner fuel, contributing to efforts to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality.
The high energy density of LPG is a significant advantage, delivering more energy per unit of volume, which minimizes resource consumption and waste. LPG also plays a vital role in the energy transition on a global scale, enhancing energy security by diversifying energy sources and promoting cleaner alternatives. As a globally traded commodity with production facilities in various countries, LPG facilitates international energy trade, contributing to energy security and accessibility worldwide.
Let’s explore the key LPG producers in Nigeria.
NLNG (Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas) has played a pivotal role as the primary producer of LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) in Nigeria. Over the years, NLNG has been at the forefront of the domestic LPG supply, contributing significantly to the country's energy landscape. NLNG's efforts have been substantial, yet, as of 2022, they met approximately 40% of Nigeria's LPG demand. The company had aspired to supply 100% of the country's LPG needs but was able to provide 40%, equivalent to 400,000 tons of LPG. To bridge the gap, the remaining 60% was imported by marketers. NLNG's ongoing commitment to LPG production showcases its vital role in addressing Nigeria's energy requirements and promoting cleaner energy solutions.
Additional Nigerian LPG producers include Kwale Hydrocarbon Nigeria Limited (KHNL), a subsidiary of Sterling Oil Exploration & Energy Production Co. Ltd. KHNL intermittently produces LPG from the Oredo field integrated gas plant. Platform Petroleum is another player, producing 20,000 tonnes per year from the Egbaoma gas plant.
Are They the Same? The only similarity between the two is that they are both highly combustible. However, the fact that LPG gas has a higher calorific value means that a little bit of it goes a long way than natural gas. There is also a close similarity between LPG and natural gas in that LPG comes from natural gas processing.
LPG produces a higher content of carbon dioxide than natural gas during combustion. LPG is easier to handle and also portable which is why it is readily available for end users regardless of their economic status. LNG on the other hand requires specialised equipment for transportation and storage. It is used to transport natural gas via marine vessels in large quantities from one location to the other. Both are flammable hydrocarbon gases, but it does not mean that they are the same. Natural gas or LPG are both applicable in-home or business.
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