Ghana takes step closer to being first LNG importer in sub-Saharan Africa as vessels are cleared for start

Tuesday, 23 March 2021
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French classification society Bureau Veritas has granted operational mode for the Torman LNG floating regasification unit (FRU) at Tema port in Ghana, opening the way for the West African nation to become an LNG importer.

The unit is combined with a floating storage unit (FSU) for the delivery of gas to onshore consumers.

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.

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.

“This exciting development of Gasfin’s facility, involving the Torman LNG FRU and a Moss-type LNG floating storage unit (FSU), both classed by Bureau Veritas, paves the way for the first deliveries of LNG to a terminal in sub-Saharan Africa,” declared Bureau Veritas.

“The project will contribute to meeting Ghana’s growing cleaner energy demand,” said the French class society.

“The volume that Ghana National Petroleum Corp. (GNPC) will be taking is equivalent to circa 1,300 megawatts of combined cycle power plant capacity,” it added.

The 95-metre long, newly built FRU has been fitted with two IMO type-C tanks and has a storage capacity of 28,000 cubic metres.

The LNG FRU is designed for an operational life of approximately 20 years.

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 has achieved mechanical completion and the first LNG delivery should not be far off.

The classification and certification scope, successfully conducted by Bureau Veritas, included the design, review, approval, material certification, and construction surveys of the LNG FRU at the Jiangnan shipyard, as well as in Tema port.

During the unit’s service years, Bureau Veritas will be supporting Gasfin’s management, reassuring stakeholders of the structural soundness of the unit and its safety, through regular conformity checks under classification rules and international standards.

“This is a great achievement for all the teams involved,” said Kerem Kiper, Vice President for the Middle East, Africa, and India at Bureau Veritas.

“This project proves that alternative solutions to produce and store electricity are available,” he added.

“It opens up new opportunities in Africa for LNG floating units. I am proud of the BV team as we continue to demonstrate our expertise across the LNG value chain,” stated Kiper.

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