Cote d'Ivoire Names 7-Way FSRU Partnership

Cote d’Ivoire energy minister Adama Toungara signed a ‘partnership’ agreement October 4 with seven companies for a floating LNG import terminal (FSRU) costing $200mn, targeting first LNG imports into the growing West African economy in mid-2018.

But the seven-company structure looks unwieldy as it includes firms that have presented rival proposals to Cote d’Ivoire, and in neighboring Ghana.  

Total would be operator, reported Reuters and local publisher Sen360, alongside six other partners: Shell, US-based Endeavor Energy, Ivory Coast state upstream firm Petroci and utility CI-Energies, Azeri state producer Socar and shipowner Golar LNG. Both news agencies cited a consortium source as saying the FSRU’s initial import capacity of 100mn ft³/d would be increased later to 500mn ft³/d.

However Shell told NGW October 6 merely: "We were pleased to have been invited to meet with the minister of energy to hear about their energy aspirations. Any conversations with governments and other businesses are confidential. We will not comment further at this time." Total was reported locally saying talks were still preliminary.

The Ivorian energy ministry had no communique on its website; Total, Golar LNG and CI-Energies did not respond to enquiries by NGW on October 6.

FSRU Golar Tundra (Photo credit: Golar LNG)

The pitfalls of launching LNG in West Africa are exemplified by Ghana, where parliament refused to allow a Golar-owned FSRU to berth at the port of Tema because parliamentarians believe a contract between its charterer West African Gas Ltd and the Ghanaian government represents poor value to the country. The ship has idled offshore within sight of the port for more than four months, with Golar expressing its determination to be paid by WAGL. Two other projects to berth FSRUs in Ghana are now in doubt, as the country struggles with inadequate gas imports from Nigeria, and a possible shortfall in offshore indigenous supplies early next year.


Mark Smedley


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