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    Portugal eyes closer Mozambique ties


Europe's energy crunch presents an unprecedented opportunity for emerging African LNG exporters to build global market presence. [Image: Twitter]

by: Callum Cyrus

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Europe, Security of Supply, Corporate, Import/Export, Political, News By Country, Portugal

Portugal eyes closer Mozambique ties

Portuguese prime minister Antonio Costa visited Mozambique from September 1 - September 4 to discuss affairs including buying LNG from the former Portuguese territory.

In a Twitter post September 3, Costa stressed post-colonial ties with Mozambique represented a strategic priority for his administration.

Costa offered up Portugal's Sines LNG terminal as a potential "gateway" for European customers to buy Mozambique's LNG, according to AFP. His administration also agreed a new €400mn ($397mn) funding pledge to the African Development Bank, aimed at spurring private sector investment in Mozambique and other African economies.

"The start of natural gas exploration in Mozambique could not have come at a better time," Costa added in a press meet.

The visit came ahead of first gas at the first of two LNG liquefaction and export projects in Mozambique. Eni's first 3.4mn metric tons/year phase at Mozambique's Coral-Sul FLNG facility will commence in H2 2022. In June, Coral's floating liquefaction vessel began pumping gas feedstock across from the offshore field Coral South, situated in the Rovuma basin.

Together with its Iberian neighbour Spain, Portugal accounts for roughly one-third of Europe's LNG import capacity, according to EuroNews. While Spain possesses more LNG terminals, Portugal's location on the Atlantic Ocean coast means it is nearer to US LNG exporters, and it is a top contender for bringing East African LNG into the Iberian grid, though to get there LNG carriers would need to sail across the Cape, or through the Suez Canal.

Europe's energy crunch has presented an unprecedented opportunity for emerging African LNG exporters to build global market presence. As global governments grapple with the road to net zero, Africa's leaders have pushed for a distinct ESG framework that enables them to utilise fossil fuel, as renewable energy sources like solar, wind and hydrogen remain too costly for some countries to scale.

A second Mozambican LNG export project, developed by French major TotalEnergies, is set to bring 12.8mn mt/yr of Mozambican LNG onto global markets. However construction was last year halted at Total's Mozambique LNG project, amid Islamic State-linked terrorism that posed risks for the French major's workforce.