Ghana aims to be LNG importer after March 2021 as floating regasification unit is deployed offshore

Thursday, 07 January 2021
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The Ghana LNG import project in West Africa is expecting to complete the venture by around March 2021 with work now focused on the onshore portion after the floating regasification unit arrived off the Ghanaian coast from a Chinese shipyard.

Jiangnan Shipbuilding, a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corp., built the FRU and the vessel left the Chinese yard at the end of November 2020 for the voyage to African waters for deployment.

A venture called Access LNG comprising Helios Investment Partners, a leading Africa focused private investment firm, and Gasfin Development, an LNG infrastructure company, is developing the facility.

Helios established Tema LNG Terminal Co. (TLTC) to develop, construct and operate sub-Saharan Africa’s first LNG import terminal.

The companies involved now say that the Tema LNG terminal venture is expected to achieve mechanical completion by around March 2021 and thereafter plans would be made for the first cargo delivery.

Gasfin has led the design of the project and the fabrication of the floating infrastructure with capacity to deliver 2 million tonnes per annum of LNG.

The Tema project is designed around the FRU working in conjunction with an upgraded 127,500 cubic metres capacity LNG carrier, which will act as floating storage, to deliver 250 million standard cubic feet per day of gas.

The Tema project will also have bunkering, reloading and break-bulk capabilities.

The terminal will receive some LNG from Royal Dutch Shell under an agreement with Ghana National Petroleum Corp.

The TLTC project company said the other current priority was the mechanical completion of the onshore works, including an 8-kilometres pipeline and a gas conditioning station.

“We forecast mechanical completion for March and then we’ve got a commissioning period with more performance testing,” said the statement.

Spain’s Reganosa Servicios has the contract for the operational and maintenance (O&M) side of the FRU. The Spanish firm will also oversee the pipeline.

The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) committed to providing a US$31 million loan to Access LNG in November 2020, filling in the final part of the project and guaranteeing final finance.

The EAIF is backed for development financing by the governments of the Netherlands, the UK, Sweden and Switzerland as well as finance institutions, private banks and institutional investors.

It said $31M was being lent to the Access LNG project at Tema, near where several power stations are located and are switching from light cycle oil (LCO) and heavy fuel oil (HFO) to natural gas.

The fixed infrastructure portion of the project has been in the construction phase since 2018 and was funded under a separate financing package, covering a breakwater, mooring facilities, a subsea pipeline and the onshore pipeline to take the gas from the port to Tema’s industrial area.

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