Africa Oil & Gas: Universal and Sembcorp Launch West Africa LNG Development

Chinese shipbuilders join forces in LNG carriers development

Universal LNG Holdings Inc. announced the formation and launch of the West Africa LNG Development, LLC, a partnership between Universal LNG Holdings, Inc. and Sembcorp Marine’s wholly owned subsidiary Jurong Shipyard. The partnership is poised to set a new, greener standard for global oil production and supply Africa with needed energy resources.

Universal said in a statement that by addressing the offshore associate gas needs of Africa, West Africa LNG Development will reduce pollution globally and improve lives regionally.

“By aligning ourselves with Sembcorp Marine’s global leading GraviFloat technology platform, we will make a difference globally and improve the quality of life for underserved people of the African continent,” said Jeffrey Liu, CEO/Chairman of Universal LNG Holdings, Inc. “We are very proud of our affiliation with Sembcorp Marine and feel they are the right kind of technology partner to make this dream a reality.”

“Africa is thirsty for energy, and the GraviFloat offshore solution brings modularity, scalability and a much more affordable solution for the region,” said William Gu, GM of Sembcorp Marine, a global leader in the offshore and marine industry out of Singapore. “This partnership represents a significant new opportunity for the continent, as Africa will receive the resources it needs to supply electricity and running water to underdeveloped regions.”

The new company aims to make use of the natural gas that is currently being flared during oil production offshore the continent. Globally, an estimated 140 Bcm of associate gas is flared, resulting in more than 300 million tons of CO2 being emitted to the atmosphere, equivalent to emissions from approximately 77 million cars. Universal said that according to global estimates,if this amount of flared gas were used for power generation it could provide more electricity than is being consumed currently on the entire African continent.

In April, the UN launched the “Zero Routine Flaring by 2030” initiative. Endorsed by nine countries, 10 oil companies and six development institutions, the initiative commits the oil companies to end the practice of routine gas flaring at oil production sites by 2030.Those that signed the initiative, collectively representing more than 40% of the entities that flare gas globally.

“While the entire world seems to agree that the practice of flaring must stop, a cost-effective, workable solution has not yet been brought to the global stage,” Liu said. “That’s where West Africa LNG Development comes in.”

“We can take this harmful byproduct and turn it into good use,” Liu said. “We’re basically the recycler, but instead of creating new plastic or paper goods, we’re improving African lives.”(source:Africa petroleum)

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