Foot on the Gas
The front-end engineering design phase for a proposed greenfield liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal at the Port of Matola, in the Mozambican capital of Maputo, is underway and the developers of the project are now intensifying discussions with potential energy and industrial off-takers in both Mozambique and South Africa.
The project is being developed by the Beluluane Gas Company (BGC), a joint venture between French energy multinational Total and Southern African natural gas group Gigajoule. Mozambique’s State-owned gas company, ENH, also has a share in the project, which is currently scheduled to begin operating in 2023.
In 2019, Mozambique awarded an LNG import concession to BGC and approved the construction of a 16-km, 28-inch pipeline linking the terminal to the existing Matola Gas Company (MGC) transmission network.
The Mozambican market consumes about 30 petajoules (PJ) per year of natural gas to gas-to-power and industrial off-takers. The vast majority is supplied through the MGC network which is also connected to the 865-km Rompco pipeline that currently transports some 150 PJ a year of natural gas to industrial customers in South Africa, including Sasol’s fuels and chemicals facilities in Secunda and Sasolburg.
The gas transported to South Africa is produced at Sasol’s Pande and Temane gas fields, in southern Mozambique.
The development of the LNG terminal is being timed, however, to fill a supply gap that is anticipated to arise when production from those gas fields begins to taper from 2023 onwards. Ahead of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Industrial Gas Users Association of Southern Africa was forecasting a potential yearly gas shortfall in South Africa of up to 98 PJ from 2025 onwards.
The Rompco pipeline has a nameplate capacity of 220 PJ and Gigajoule Managing Director Johan de Vos and Total LNG Business Development Director Shammi Herai report that the Matola terminal is being profiled to eventually match Rompco’s full capacity.
“Initially, we expected that most of the customers would be in South Africa, but we are receiving strong interest in Mozambique, which could shift the terminal’s supply equation materially,” De Vos says.
Besides servicing gas-to-power and industrial customers that are already linked to the gas network, the project includes scope for a cryogenic facility able to load trucks with LNG destined for customers that have no direct access to the existing pipeline infrastructure. “This is a very exciting market segment and we are contemplating a sculpted design that enables us to supply this market with more than 20 PJ of gas yearly as from 2023 onwards.”
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