US-based NFE eyes LNG potential in Mauritania
US-based New Fortress Energy (NFE) said December 21 it had signed a preliminary agreement with the government of Mauritania to develop a hub for natural gas, LNG and blue ammonia.
Under the terms of a memorandum of understanding with the Mauritanian government, NFE could use its Fast LNG liquefaction technology to source gas from the fields off the nation’s coast for domestic power markets and potentially for international consumers.
“The production of liquefied natural gas from these fields with our innovative Fast LNG liquefiers will help accelerate the global transition to cleaner fuels,” said NFE chair and CEO Wes Edens said. “Supply of natural gas and modern power infrastructure will also help bring more affordable, reliable and cleaner power to support industrial development and sustainable economic growth in Mauritania and, at the same time, unlock the country’s potential to be a top exporter of clean LNG and blue ammonia.”
NFE’s technology employs modular liquefaction designs with jack-up rigs or similar offshore floating infrastructure that it says is more cost-efficient and faster to deploy than a comparable floating liquefaction vessel.
Blue ammonia, meanwhile, utilises a production method called steam reformation, similar to the hydrogen production process of the same colour. Ammonia, a chemical compound of one nitrogen atom and three hydrogens, can serve as a hydrogen carrier.
Mauritania has long-held LNG aspirations. The target for first gas from the BP-led Greater Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) LNG project off Senegal and Mauritania slipped further back from the first half to the third quarter of 2023, project investor Kosmos Energy said.
The first phase of the project was sanctioned in late 2018, with a liquefaction capacity of 2.5mn metric tons/year. Production was originally due to start in 2020, but the launch was pushed back to 2023 because of the coronavirus pandemic.