SacOil Holding Ltd. held off joining its partners in signing a joint-venture agreement to build a $6 billion pipeline to transport gas from offshore Mozambique to South Africa’s commercial heartland of Gauteng.
“The board felt we didn’t want to rush the process,” which should be completed in the next three to four weeks, SacOil Chief Executive Officer Thabo Kgogo said by phone on Monday, after the company issued a statement to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. “We’re still in the project.”
SacOil said its partners, including Mozambique’s national oil company, China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau and China Petroleum & Technology Development Corp., signed the agreement on the African Renaissance Pipeline on April 22. The 2,600-kilometer (1,616-mile) pipeline will be funded mostly by Chinese banks and could be operational by 2020, Kgogo said last month after SacOil signed a preliminary construction accord.
The pipeline is among the projects seeking to exploit gas discoveries in the Rovuma Basin, off the northern coast of Mozambique. Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Eni SpA have plans to export liquefied natural gas, while in South Africa the government is encouraging private companies to develop 3,126 megawatts of gas-fired power.
SacOil is 42 percent owned by the Public Investment Corp., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The PIC manages the bulk of the pension money of South African government workers and is the continent’s biggest fund manager.