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New offshore gas fields to consolidate Mozambique as largest exporter of natural gas

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Mozambique is 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 in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, come on stream in 2020.

This was announced by the Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Augusto Fernando, quoted by state-controlled weekly and Sunday paper Domingo. He 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.

More than $30 billion is being invested by foreign firms in Mozambique’s natural gas sector to build capacity to produce 20 million tonnes per year of liquefied natural gas (LNG), with the first exports due to start next month.

“Right now, Mozambique is the largest exporter of gas in southern Africa, and we want to still further cement that position,” said Fernando.

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. Natural gas will have a significant impact on Mozambique’s energy matrix.

In 2012, all the electricity generated in Mozambique had been hydropower, mostly from the Cahora Bassa dam on the Zambezi River. 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.

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.

Source: Political Analysis South Africa

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