Portugal’s prime minister, António Costa, said last week he would like to see Mozambican liquefied natural gas entering Europe via the port of Sines.
“We can already use the port of Sines and Mozambican gas will be very welcome, if it chooses it as an entry point to Europe,” António Costa said on the sidelines of the Portugal-Mozambican Business Forum in Maputo.
The decision is in the hands of the oil and energy companies and the production that is about to start at the floating platform in the Rovuma basin is already sold for 20 years – even so, the political will to approach in this area was clear, at a time when an energy crisis is affecting the world and, in particular, Europe.
The “first response” to the crisis involves accelerating the use of renewable energy, a transition in which “resources such as those in which Mozambique is rich, such as natural gas” will be needed.
“The start of natural gas exploitation in Mozambique could surely not come at a better time for Mozambique and for those who are importers, as we are almost all the European Union (EU) countries,” he stressed.
“That is why we have every interest in the rapid stabilisation of security in Cabo Delgado: for humanitarian reasons” and “for reasons that have to do with the development of Mozambique, but also so that gas exploration can be fully exploited in markets that need it, such as the European market,” he added.
Armed attacks in the northern province have prevented construction of onshore gas liquefaction plants, which could supply new customers, leaving the floating Cora Sul platform, which will start production before the end of the year and be delivered to BP until 2042.
“If we do not increase the supply of natural gas, we will have difficulty in responding to this global crisis of inflation that is being transmitted from product to product, country to country and contaminating the world economy,” António Costa illustrated.
“Mozambique will certainly be a happy contributor to the solution of the world energy crisis,” said the Portuguese Prime Minister.
If there is supply capacity, “we have every interest” that Mozambican gas, as well as gas from other origins, “may enter Europe through the port of Sines” – either to feed the future interconnection with Spain and France, or immediately for transfer.
“We are creating conditions so that, in the meantime, the port of Sines can function as a natural gas transfer port,” Costa stressed, pointing to the infrastructure as the Atlantic port “closest to the African continent” and with deep water.
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“It is not overcrowded like ports in central and northern Europe are,” meaning that “berthing and transfer operations” are faster compared to ports “in Holland,” Costa said.
This means a saving of four days per round trip, which he considers relevant in the market for “large gas tankers”, natural gas carriers that “are a scarce commodity worldwide”.
“Saving four days on each trip greatly increases the capacity to export and supply gas,” he pointed out.
Questioned by journalists, Mozambique’s President Nyusi referred the matter to the gas exploitation companies.
On Thursday, the head of state had already said he was studying the construction of a second platform to continue autonomous gas exploration, on the high seas, while the situation on land was not safe for the construction of larger projects.