Mining & Energy
Could South Africa and Mozambique be the world’s next oil and gas hub?
Courtesy of Eni
The chairperson of Mozambique’s National Hydrocarbon Company (ENH), Omar Mitha, has guaranteed that the floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) unit, to be installed off the coast of the northern province of Cabo Delgado, will take environmental questions into account.
Speaking on Tuesday in Washington to the journalists accompanying President Filipe Nyusi on his visit to Washington, Mitha was responding to claims by some environmentalists that the LNG factory should be installed on land, since it could do greater environmental damage at sea.
Mitha dismissed these fears as groundless, pointing out that the studies undertaken by experts showed that the FLNG unit will be environmentally sustainable. “These studies show that the FLNG platform will be built taking all the environmental questions into consideration”, he said.
As for financing the FLNG project, Mitha said there was no investment or development bank anywhere in the world that would not want to finance an environmentally sustainable project on such a large scale.
Both ENH and the government, he said, as well as the financing agencies, considered environmental sustainability as a crucial aspect – hence full environmental impact studies had been undertaken.
The FLNG unit will be sited above the Coral South gas field in Area Four of the Rovuma Basin, about 50 kilometres from the Cabo Delgado coast. The operator is the Italian energy company ENI, heading a consortium which also includes the Chinese National Petroleum Company (CNPC), Kogas of South Korea, GALP of Portugal and ENH.
The Final Investment Decision was signed at a ceremony in Maputo on 1 June. Total investment in the FLNG project is put at eight billion US dollars (in addition to the 2.8 billion dollars already spent on exploration and other preliminary activities). According to the ENI chief Executive Officer, Claudio Descalzi, 15 banks are already committed to providing finance of six billion dollars.
The first liquefied natural gas is expected to be produced in five years time – by June 2022. Mitha said it was important to keep to this timetable to avoid cost overruns.
The FLNG is just the start, Both ENI and the American company Anadarko, the operator of the adjoining Rovuma Area Number One, intend to build onshore LNG plants in the Afungi peninsula in Palma district.
Mitha thought it necessary to speed up implementation of other natural gas projects, and he expected this to be discussed during Nyusi’s visit with the US companies involved in Mozambican gas. In addition to Anadarko, these include ExxonMobil, which has agreed to purchase a stake in Rovuma Basin Area Four from ENI.Source: AIM
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