Samsung Heavy, Nigeria LNG in Talks Over Order for Four Tankers

Samsung Heavy Industries Co. (010140), the world’s second-largest shipyard, is in talks to supply Nigeria LNG Ltd. with four ships as Africa’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas seeks to expand its deliveries abroad.

Nigeria LNG is still working on the proposed deal, Gloria Ita-Ikpeme, a Lagos-based spokeswoman for the company, said in an e-mailed response to questions. A spokesman for Samsung Heavy said negotiations were making progress toward an agreement.

Nigeria LNG operates the Bonny Island plant with six production units able to produce 21.7 million metric tons of the gas a year, or about 8 percent of the world total, according to data from the International Group of LNG Importers. The company has long-term contracts with buyers in Europe and is seeking to boost shipments eastward to meet growing demand from Asia.

Plans to boost the tanker fleet of Nigeria LNG’s shipping unit, Bonny Gas Transport Ltd., include an order with Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. for two ships, MoneyToday reported on Feb. 22. The expansion follows a $1 billion loan brokered by BNP Paribas SA, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and Africa Finance Corp.

Nigeria LNG exported 333 cargoes in 2012, the most since sales began in 1999, according to its website. State-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. is the biggest shareholder with 49 percent. Units of Shell, Total SA and Eni SpA hold 26 percent, 15 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

Hyundai Heavy couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

To contact the reporters on this story: Elisha Bala-Gbogbo in Abuja at ebalagbogbo@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rob Verdonck at rverdonck@bloomberg.net

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