Strategic Move: See How Tope Shonubi Bolsters LPG Market with $142 Million Investment
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Business - July 16, 2023

Strategic Move: See How Tope Shonubi Bolsters LPG Market with $142 Million Investment

Tope Shonubi, the Nigerian tycoon at the helm of Sahara Group, the energy conglomerate, has steered the company towards another significant milestone. Recently, the group successfully concluded a deal to acquire two vessels exclusively dedicated to transporting liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). 

This strategic move underscores Sahara Group’s unwavering commitment to driving clean energy access across Africa and actively supporting the continent’s transition to sustainable energy sources.

According to insider sources familiar with the agreement, Sahara Group, headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), recently concluded contracts for the procurement of two 40,000-cubic meter capacity carriers. The deal was finalized in Singapore two weeks ago, in collaboration with HD Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (HD KSOE), a company based in Ulsan.

To enhance their strategic investments aimed at promoting secure, dependable, and sustainable access to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), Sahara Group has acquired two LPG carriers. These vessels, valued at $71 million each, will significantly contribute to Sahara Group’s mission of facilitating the widespread utilization of LPG—a clean and efficient energy source capable of meeting the energy needs of vast populations.

Hyundai Mipo Shipyard (HMD) in Ulsan has been entrusted with the delivery of the acquired vessels. The first vessel is anticipated to be received by Sahara Group in December 2025, while the second one is scheduled for early 2026. HMD, a renowned shipbuilding company, boasts a substantial 50-percent market share in Product Carrier (PC) ships worldwide. With a rich history dating back to the 1980s, HMD has successfully repaired and converted over 10,000 ships until 2005, in addition to delivering 400 newly ordered vessels by 2009.

Under Sahara Group’s subsidiary, Sahara Energy, significant investments have already been made in the maritime sector. Sahara Energy holds ownership stakes in four vessels registered under West Africa Gas, a notable joint venture between Nigerian National Petroleum Corp and Ocean Bed Trading, a subsidiary of Sahara Energy. 

Presently, the joint venture possesses four LPG carriers, namely Africa Gas and Sahara Gas (both constructed in 2017) with a capacity of 38,148 cubic meters each, as well as Sapet Gas and Barumk Gas (built in 2022) with a capacity of 23,000 cubic meters each.

What you should know about Sahara Group

Founded in 1996 by Tope Shonubi, Tonye Cole, and Ade Odunsi, Sahara Group initially operated as Sahara Energy Resources, primarily engaged in the trading of petroleum products. Since its inception, the company has experienced remarkable growth and transformation, emerging as one of the largest conglomerates in Nigeria. Today, Sahara Group has diversified its operations, encompassing oil production, electricity generation, and oil trading activities.

With an extensive footprint spanning over 40 countries, Sahara Group has established itself as a global player. Over its impressive 25-year history, the company has achieved annual revenues totaling $10 billion, demonstrating its financial strength and market prominence. Employing over 4,000 individuals, Sahara Group stands as a significant contributor to job creation and economic development.

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