The European Union (EU) has revealed its desire to explore alternatives to the consumption of Russia gas; slating Nigeria gas as a fitting replacement.
Speaking at a news conference held in Abuja on Friday, Deputy Director-General Department for (Energy), European Commission in Brussels, Matthew Baldwin, announced the bloc’s purported plans to dump Russia gas due to the invasion of Ukraine; which has been deemed wrong on all fronts.
Baldwin, who spearheaded the EU delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, will meet with top government officials in Nigeria and private sector players, including key stakeholders in the country’s energy sector. He also announced the launch of an energy platform task force; few days after speaking on the commencement of a gas demand reduction plan.
‘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 on Friday.
‘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 announced earlier in the week.
Historical alliance on trading between the EU and Nigeria shows a volume of at least 28.7 billion euros (an increase of more than 25 per cent over 2020) as at 2021. A trade balance profiting Nigeria also amounted to 6.4 billion euros.
Prior to their decision to dump Russia gas, the European Union had urged bloc members to reduce its consumption of gas by 15%; warning of a potential shutdown of supply from Russia.