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    Helios offloads stake in Nigerian gas distributor

Summary

Having Sojitz on board as a partner will help grow Axxela's business, Helios said.

by: NGW

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Complimentary, Natural Gas & LNG News, Africa, Corporate, Mergers & Acquisitions, News By Country, Nigeria

Helios offloads stake in Nigerian gas distributor

Africa-focused private equity firm Helios Investment Partners has sold a 25% stake in its Nigerian gas distribution business Axxela to Japan's Sojitz, it announced on March 31.

Helios is retaining the remaining 75% interest in Axxela, which supplies around 80mn ft3/day of gas to over 200 industrial customers. It added that the deal was Sojitz's first major equity investment in Africa, predicting greater collaboration between the two companies moving forward.

Having Sojitz on board as a partner will help grow Axxela's business, Helios said, by leveraging the Japanese firm's expertise in developing gas and power infrastructure.

While west Africa's abundant gas resources have served European and Asian LNG export markets for decades, consumption in the region itself has grown only modestly because of a lack of processing and distribution infrastructure, Helios said.

"Helios and Sojitz together believe that the actionable, economically viable and just energy transition pathway for Africa can be achieved through the accelerated build-out of gas infrastructure, which would enable the switch away from coal and liquid fuels, eliminate routine gas flaring and support the increased penetration of renewable energy by complementing its intermittent supply with reliable and flexible gas-fired power supply," Helios said in a statement.

The company noted that Axxela had managed to reduce customer greenhouse gas emissions by 1.7mn metric tons between 2018 and 2020, by providing them with gas as an alternative to diesel and heavy fuel oil.