The European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS on Friday said it would replace the gas from Russia with that from Nigeria due to the invasion in Ukraine.
The Deputy Director-General Department for Energy, European Commission in Brussels, Matthew Baldwin, said this.
Baldwin spoke at a news conference on Friday in Abuja.
TheEagleOnline reports that Baldwin will be meeting with Nigerian top government officials and private sector players, including key stakeholders in the country’s Energy Sector.
NAN reports that the EU’s executive body had urged member states to slash their gas consumption by 15 percent 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.
Baldwin said: “In summary, I am on a mission from Europe to try to deliver Liquefied Natural Gas 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.
“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.”
Baldwin added that Nigerian products had extraordinary potential and that was why the EU wanted to expand the short term delivery.
He said by the end of August this year, the EU hopes to kick start the partnership, adding that it would create a long term partnership with Nigeria.
Speaking also, Samuela Isopi, the Head of EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, said that the bloc was doing its part in contributing to the energy sector through different collaborations with the Nigerian Government.
Isopi said that currently, the EU’s contribution stands at 400 million euros.
She said: “The EU as a bloc remains Nigeria’s biggest trading partner accounting for more than 20 percent of Nigerian trade with the world.
“In 2021, the volume of EU-Nigeria trade stood at 28.7 billion euros (an increase of more than 25 per cent over 2020) with a trade balance of 6.4 billion euros in favour of Nigeria.”
The Eagle Online, NAN
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