* Nigeria LNG to buys ships from Samsung and Hyundai
* $1.6 bln loan deal to help fund the acquisition
* Nigeria seeking to harness gas potentials
(Adds quote, details)
By Chijioke Ohuocha
LAGOS, March 21 Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas
Company (NLNG) will sign agreements this week with South Korea's
Samsung Heavy Industries and Hyundai to
acquire six LNG carrier ships, two sources close to the deal
said on Thursday.
France's BNP Paribas and Nigeria's GT Bank
are brokering a $1.6 billion loan to help fund
acquisition of the vessels and expect to sign the financing
documents next week, a banking source said.
"The agreement to buy the ships should be signed before
today or tomorrow," one source told Reuters, adding that NLNG
executives had travelled to South Korea for the signing.
The banking source said the loan would be medium-to-long
term, with the deal expected to be sealed by the end of March.
Samsung and Hyundai could not be reached immediately for
A spokeswoman for BNP Paribas said it does not normally
comment on transactions with clients
NLNG, which is majority owned jointly by Nigeria's state oil
company NNPC and Royal Dutch Shell, said last year it
would seek international loans to expand the operations of its
shipping subsidiary Bonny Gas Transport Limited, which currently
has 24 LNG ships.
NLNG was set up more than two decades ago to harness
Nigeria's natural gas resources and produce liquefied natural
gas and natural gas liquids for export.
It has long-term supply contracts with buyers in Italy,
Spain, Turkey, Portugal and France and also sells on the spot
NLNG has a capacity to produce 22 million tonnes of
liquefied gas a year. It obtains its gas supply from the
upstream oil companies and liquefies it for export.
(Additional reporting by Michel Rose in Paris; Editing by