SOCAR received a share in the LNG project in West Africa

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The CI-GNL (Ivory Coast LNG) consortium has been awarded rights to build and operate a LNG regasification terminal in Cote d’Ivoire with a capacity of 3mn mt/yr (4.15bn m³/yr), announced Total November 25.

LNGThe decision, announced by the Ivorian government on October 4, was followed by the signature of the shareholders’ agreement in Abidjan between Total, which will operate the project with a 34% stake, Ivorian state companies PetroCI (11%) and CI Energies (5%), as well as Azerbaijan’s state Socar (26%), Shell (13%), Golar (6%) and US developer Endeavor Energy (5%).

Total will use the terminal to supply LNG volumes from its global portfolio in proportion to its participating interest in the project, namely 1mn mt/yr. The regasification terminal project is expected to become operational by mid 2018.

Philippe Sauquet, Total’s president Gas, Renewables and Power, said that the project “illustrates Total’s strategy to develop new gas markets by unlocking access to LNG for fast-growing economies. Working closely with our partners enabled us to put together an integrated proposal combining LNG supply and import infrastructure through a floating storage and regasification unit.”

The latter will be based at Vridi, near Abidjan, connected by a pipeline to existing and planned power plants in Abidjan, as well as to regional markets connected to the Ivorian network.

Ghana had been expected to launch West Africa’s first LNG import terminal at Tema by June 2016, based on the FSRU Golar Tundra which is on a long-term charter to a joint venture of Nigeria’s state NNPC and Sahara Energy. But to date, a rift between government and parliament has left the ship marooned some 5 km offshore.

Total claims the CI-GNL project will enable Cote d’Ivoire to be come “the first regional LNG import Hub in West Africa”. Although Ghana has two other rival LNG import projects waiting in the wings, Total’s claim may yet prove correct.

Mark Smedley
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