* Hyundai also in talks to provide 2 ships
* NLNG in process of agreeing $1.6 bln loan to buy the ships
(Writes through with details)
By Chijioke Ohuocha and Somang Yang
LAGOS/SEOUL, March 22 South Korea's Samsung
Heavy Industries and Hyundai are both
involved in deals to provide six LNG carrier ships between them
to Nigeria's Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG), the companies
Samsung confirmed through a stock exchange announcement this
week it had won an order to provide four ships to NLNG.
Hyundai said on Friday it was in talks with NLNG
to provide two additional LNG carrier ships.
Both Hyundai and Samsung say the deal is conditional on NLNG
France's BNP Paribas and Nigeria's GT Bank
are brokering a $1.6 billion loan to help fund
acquisition of the vessels and that the loan documents will be
signed next week, a banking source told Reuters on Thursday.
"We are in talks with NLNG but nothing has been finalized
yet," said Kim Kwang-kug, an official at Hyundai Heavy.
The source said the loan would be medium-to-long term, with
the deal expected to be sealed by the end of March.
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 established more than 20 years ago to harness
Nigeria's natural gas resources, which before that were largely
either being left in the ground or flared off as byproducts of
oil production, to produce liquefied natural gas and natural gas
liquids for export.
The company, which has a capacity to produce 22 million
tonnes of liquefied gas a year, has long-term supply contracts
with buyers in Italy, Spain, Turkey, Portugal and France and
also sells on the spot market.
It obtains its gas supply from the upstream oil companies
and liquefies it for export.
(Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha and Somang Yang; Editing by Tim
Cocks and William Hardy)