W African Exporter Builds LNG Import Capacity
Equatorial Guinea inaugurated the first LNG storage and regasification plant to be built on the west African coast, according to a statement distributed by APO August 20. West Africa is a major global exporter of gas but had no import infrastructure until now. Equatorial Guinea already produces LNG for export at one facility on Bioko Island and is reportedly trying to reboot Fortuna LNG – the failed floating LNG project above large reserves of stranded gas – now that the licence has reverted to the government.
The new plant is being built at the Port of Akonikien, on Equatorial Guinea’s mainland, by local contractor Elite Construcciones. With a storage capacity of 14,000 m³ in 12 bullet tanks, it is the first of its kind and allows LNG to be distributed on the mainland. Along with the storage and regasification infrastructure, Elite is also installing a truck loading station and 12 km of gas and diesel pipelines.
Equatorial Guinea's hydrocarbon minister Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima said the terminal was part of the privately-run LNG2Africa initiative. “LNG2Africa has a clear objective of developing small-scale LNG projects to supply gas to countries and regions with limited infrastructure. At a time when Africa’s large-scale LNG projects are making headlines, let’s remind ourselves that smaller-scale projects addressing the needs of energy-deficient regions provide opportunities to monetise our gas for our economies, and to mobilise our local companies around key infrastructure projects for the region,” he said.
Gas will be transported by trucks and pipelines to various energy-intensive industries such as power generation and cement-making.
The executive chairman of the African Energy Chamber Nj Ayuk said the project was "a beautiful example of local content development and world-class co-operation between a local company and international technical and technology partners.” Ayuk's law firm, Centurion, was adviser.
The world’s largest factory-built cryogenic bullet tanks were built by US Corban Energy Group. Elite Construcciones also worked closely with German companies Noordtec and ESC on the design and construction of the plant.
In April of this year, Equatorial Guinea signed the definitive agreements for the monetisation of gas from its Alen Unit. Under the agreements, Atlas Oranto Petroleum, Noble Energy, Marathon Oil, Glencore and Gunvor are investing close to $350mn on pooling supply from stranded gas fields in Equatorial Guinea and the Gulf of Guinea and replace declining output from the Alba field, which feeds the LNG terminal.