Mozambique is already the largest exporter of natural gas in the Southern African region, and will consolidate this position when the vast offshore gas fields in the Rovuma Basin, off the coast of the northern province of Cabo Delgado come on stream, declared the Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Augusto Fernando, on Thursday.
Speaking at a conference in Maputo, organised by the British paper, the “Financial Times”, Fernandes said the first of the Rovuma Basin liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects to begin production will be the floating LNG platform to be installed above the Coral South field, operated by the Italian energy company, ENI, and its partners.
The natural gas currently produced is from the Pande and Temane onshore fields in the southern province of Inhambane. Most of this gas is exported by pipeline to South Africa.
“Right now, Mozambique is the largest exporter of gas in southern Africa, and we want to cement still further that position”, said Fernandes. “Recently we had the opportunity to witness, in South Korea, the first cut of steel for the hull of the floating platform that will be installed in Area Four of the Rovuma Basin”.
Natural gas will have a significant impact on Mozambique’s energy matrix, he added. In 2012, he noted, all the electricity generated in Mozambique had been hydropower, mostly from the Cahora Bassa dam on the Zambezi River. But today the situation has changed substantially – hydropower now represents 70 per cent of Mozambique’s electricity, but the other 30 per cent comes from gas-fired power stations. The most recent of these is the combined cycle power station in Maputo, inaugurated in August by President Filipe Nyusi, and able to generate 106 megawatts.
Fernandes said a new gas-fired station at Temane, in Inhambane, is expected to come into operation in 2022, generating 400 megawatts. When that happens, gas will be providing between 45 and 50 per cent of the country’s electricity needs.
He stressed that it is fundamental to make the best use of the gas to serve projects that are determinant for the economic future of the country.
Fernandes also argued that liquid fuels should be produced from gas, in order to reduce the bill for importing petrol and diesel. The gas can also be used to produce fertiliser for Mozambican agriculture, and should also be a crucial factor in industrialisation.
“Only integrated planning will guarantee the use of the natural gas as a de facto catalyst in various other sectors of our economy”, he said.
In addition to ENI’s floating LNG platform, the second Rovuma Basin consortium, headed by the US company Anadarko Petroleum, is planning to build two LNG factories (known as “trains”) on the Afungi Peninsula, in Palma district. Anadarko and its partners are expected to take their Final Investment Decision in the first half of 2019.
Source: AIM via Club Of Mozambique