By Sully Manope, southern Africa correspondent, in Windhoek
US independent Anadarko and the government of Mozambique announced yesterday, June 18, 2019, the Final Investment Decision for what is the biggest single natural gas development project in Africa, ever.
It is the first phase of development of the natural gas reserves in Area 1 of the Rovuma Basin, stored in about 1,600 metres of water off Mozambique. The Liquefied Natural Gas facility with capacity to produce 12.8 Million Tonnes of the product every year (12.8MMTPA), will utilise 2Billion Standard cubic feet of gas a day (2Bscf/d)
No LNG project in Africa ever started this big.
To put it in context. The Nigeria LNG project in Bonny, in the country’s east, started production in 1999, from a plant with capacity less than 4MMTPA. The Algerian LNG, the first on the continent, started from even smaller sized capacity plants. Angola’s LNG is 5.2MMTPA. Egypt’s largest LNG plant, the one at Idku, has a total size of 7.7MMTPA.
The Mozambique LNG project, as the Anadarko led development is called, will cost $20Billion to build, on a site on the Afungi peninsula, in the country’s district of Palma. This onshore site is where the deep-water gas will be channelled, to be turned into liquefied gas.
Even though it has taken considerable time (close to three years), for Anadarko to secure enough sales agreements to give it comfort to sanction a 12.8MMTPA project, leading industry ‘bibles’ forecast considerable market for this product in the mid to long term. Global demand is expected to increase from 319MMTPA to 632MMTPA (average) from 2018-2040.
On its part,it has taken the Government of Mozambique 13 years to reach this stage. It launched the 2nd Licensing Round on 15th July 2005. Applications were submitted on 31st January 2006. Anadarko discovered the first commercial sized reservoir of gas in the country’s deep waters in February 2010.