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Friday, August 19, 2022

Ukraine invasion: EU to replace gas from Russia with Nigeria’s

The European Union (EU) Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS said on Friday, July 22, 2022, that it would replace the gas from Russia with Nigerian gas due to the invasion in Ukraine.

Matthew Baldwin
Deputy Director-General, Department for Energy, European Commission in Brussels, Mr Matthew Baldwin

Deputy Director-General, Department for Energy, European Commission in Brussels, Mr Matthew Baldwin, said this at a news conference on Friday in Abuja.

Baldwin will be meeting with Nigerian top government officials and private sector players, including key stakeholders in the country’s Energy Sector.

The EU’s executive body had urged member states to slash their gas consumption by 15 per cent as it warned that a complete shutdown of Russian supplies was “likely”.

The EU has been scrambling to wean itself off Russian gas since the invasion of Ukraine but is alarmed about a potential energy crisis this winter.

“In summary, I am on a mission from Europe to try to deliver Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) today in the context of NLG partnership tomorrow with Nigeria.

“Europe is in a tight spot in relations to gas, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the instability in our gas market and the threat of cutting off supply altogether.

“So, we have launched the energy platform task force and the primary goal is to reach out to our reliable partners such as Nigeria to replace the gas from Russia with gas from reliable partners,” he said.

According to him, you would have seen perhaps early this week, we launched a gas demand reduction plan, and we are looking to reduce demand of gas by 15 per cent to manage the demand aspect of the equation.

“To be clear, we need to manage the supply side and that’s why we want to expand what is currently at 14 per cent shares of our total LNG import from Nigeria and we want it to go up.

“Our gas percentage was 60 per cent but now we want to go,’’ he said.

He added that Nigerian products had an extraordinary potential and that was why EU wanted to expand the short-term delivery.

Also, he said that by the end of August this year EU hopefully to kick start the partnership, adding that, it would create a long-term partnership with Nigeria.

Speaking also, Ms Samuela Isopi, the EU delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, said that the bloc was doing its part in contributing to the energy sector through different collaborations with Nigerian Government.

She said that, currently, EU’s contribution stands at €400 million.

“The EU as a bloc remains Nigeria’s biggest trading partner accounting for more than 20 per cent of Nigerian trade with the world.

“In 2021, the volume of EU-Nigeria trade stood at €28.7 billion (an increase of more than 25 per cent over 2020) with a trade balance of €6.4 billion in favour of Nigeria,” Isopi added.

By Maureen Okon

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