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    Haldor Topsoe Updates on African Projects


Danish technology firm Haldor Topsoe has provided an update on two fertiliser projects, requiring local gas as feedstock, in sub-Saharan Africa.

by: Mark Smedley

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Africa, Europe, Corporate, Mergers & Acquisitions, Investments, News By Country, Angola, Denmark, Germany, Tanzania

Haldor Topsoe Updates on African Projects

Danish technology firm Haldor Topsoe said August 15 it acquired full ownership of German firm Ferrostaal Topsoe Projects (FTP), based in Essen. One week on, it has told NGW what this means for ventures in Angola and Tanzania requiring locally produced gas.

The acquisition of FTP will strengthen Topsoe’s existing business within ammonia, methanol, GTL and refining, along with upcoming development projects, said the Danish firm a week ago. “We look forward to welcoming our new colleagues in Germany; they are true experts, who offer proficient project development support to our customers from the very early stages of their projects," said Haldor Topsoe's deputy CEO and head of chemicals Amy Hebert. Transaction value was not disclosed and the deal was finalized August 3; full integration is scheduled by September 1, 2018. FTP will be rebranded 'Topsoe Project Development’ (TPD) and remain in Essen. 

TPD managing director Stefan Kratz provided NGW August 22 with an update on its projects in Angola, and in Tanzania in which Haldor Topsoe had already been involved.

Kratz said: "The fertiliser project in southern Tanzania is progressing. Negotiations are ongoing, which means that we unfortunately cannot comment in further detail. Another project in Africa that the newly-formed TPD is actively engaged in developing, is a 2mn metric tons/year fertiliser plant in Soyo, Angola. As an integrated part of Topsoe, TPD will be even more involved in developing projects and helping customers finance and realise their projects." The Soyo project could receive feedstock gas from the Angola LNG project, which has capacity to supply piped gas to local consumers.

Tanzania's populist president John Magufuli has been pressing investors, including Haldor Topsoe, to take a prompt investment decision on the planned $1bn project with Ferrostaal since mid-2016 that would produce 1.3mn mt/yr of fertiliser. The Danish firm said then a final investment decision might be expected by early 2018. But fiscal uncertainty in Tanzania has set back that and others' projects.  Nearest potential gas sources to the planned fertiliser plant at Lindi are the producing Pertamina-operated Mnazi Bay gasfield and the as-yet undeveloped Ntorya gas find by Aminex.

If the Danes want a bigger gas source, they will have to wait, as there are few signs that Shell or Norway's Equinor plan to go ahead with bigger developments that would liquefy offshore gas for export.