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Germany to invest in Nigeria’s gas

By on July 15, 2011

Germany will increase its involvement in Nigeria’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday, as Africa’s most populous nation looks to take advantage of its vast gas reserves.

Nigeria, with the world’s eighth-largest gas reserves, has one of the world’s biggest LNG plants on Bonny Island in the onshore wetland creeks of the Niger Delta.

But crude oil production has been the government’s focus and much of the country’s gas reserves are untapped.

Nigeria’s long delayed Brass LNG project reopened bids for engineering, procurement and construction contracts this week. Brass LNG shareholders include energy firms Eni, ConocoPhillips and Total.

“Our effort is to intensify cooperation with respect to liquefied natural gas … technical and development cooperation are areas we intend to do more,” said Merkel, speaking at a joint media conference with President Goodluck Jonathan as part of a state visit.

The German government announced plans in May to keep offline permanently eight nuclear power plants, which contribute around 40 percent of its nuclear capacity, and to shut all remaining plants by 2022 — a move that will increase its demand for gas.