One of Ghana's LNG Projects Awards EPC
One of three rival planned LNG import terminal projects in Ghana has chosen Italy's Micoperi as its engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor.
London-based Quantum Power, part of Quantum Pacific Group, which is owned by Israeli billionaire Idan Ofer, said on March 4 that, in consultation with its state-owned partner Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), it had chosen Micoperi as EPC contractor for the Tema LNG import facility.
On February 8, GNPC signed heads of terms with Quantum for construction and operation of Tema LNG, which aims to have 3.4mn t/yr (500mn ft3/day) Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) moored 12km offshore the port of Tema. GNPC said that Tema LNG would cost over $550mn and be developed on a build-own-operate-transfer basis, with assets transferred to GNPC after 20 years.
Quantum is understood to be now tendering for the charter of this FSRU from specialist shipowners. GNPC and Quantum say their Tema LNG facility will have the capacity to fuel over 2,000 MW of power generation in Ghana.
Micoperi vice president Claudio Bartolotti said: “We are delighted to have been selected to execute the EPC for this project of strategic importance, not only to Ghana but also the wider West African region.” The Italian firm’s experience ranges from building jetties to heavy-lift operations; it was involved in the difficult salvage of the wreck of Italian cruise-liner Costa Concordia.
To date however, the only consortium to have firmed up the charter of an FSRU for use in Ghana is West African Gas Limited, making its the most advanced of the three LNG projects. WAGL, which is 60%-owned by Nigeria’s state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and 40% by private Nigerian business Sahara Energy, signed a charter four months ago for FSRU Golar Tundra from the specialist shipowner Golar LNG for an initial five-year period starting mid-2016. The FSRU will be moored inside the port of Tema at a new jetty being built by WAGL, although recent press reports have suggested work to build the jetty is delayed.
NNPC is among the co-owners of the Nigeria-to-Ghana West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP). Thus having back-up gas storage in Ghana (in the form of LNG) could improve WAGP’s operational reliability, enabling it better to serve the needs of gas-fired plants both built and planned in Ghana.
A third group of US giant GE, France’s Eranove, US firm Endeavor Energy and Ghanaian oil trader Sage Petroleum have been in talks for over a year on a program of investments that would combine an FSRU with power generation capacity; they are understood not yet to have signed a firm FSRU charter. This group, "Ghana1000", also entered into exclusive talks a year ago with Royal Dutch Shell on the supply of LNG, but to date no conclusion has been reported. Endeavor did however say last month that it hoped to tender an EPC contract relating to LNG into Ghana by the end of this month.
Ghana is already a gas producer, with associated gas from the Tullow-operated Jubilee offshore oil field already coming to shore, and similar gas already contracted from the TEN and OCTP offshore field complexes due onstream over the next few years. So, LNG will face competition in gaining a foothold in the local market, but will benefit from currently very low spot LNG prices on the world market.