Equatorial Guinea is set to construct the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage and regasification plant in West Africa, advancing efforts to monetise gas resources through the creation of domestic gas-to-power infrastructure.
Located at the Port of Akonikien on the country’s mainland, the plant will enable the transportation and storage of LNG from the country’s LNG plant at the Punta Europa Gas Complex on Bioko Island, to Akonikien on the southern border of the mainland.
It will then be fed into the regasification plant to be distributed to smaller-scale power plants and LNG power stations throughout the country, as well as exported to neighbouring countries.
Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, said the terminal is the first of many upcoming projects under the LNG2Africa initiative.
“LNG2Africa has a clear objective of developing small-scale LNG projects to supply gas to countries and regions with limited infrastructure,” declared Obiang Lima.
He added: “At a time when Africa’s large-scale LNG projects are making headlines, let’s remind ourselves that smaller-scale projects addressing the needs of energy-deficient regions provide opportunities to monetise our gas for our economies, and to mobilise our local companies around key infrastructure projects for the region.”
Launched by the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons in 2018, the initiative seeks to facilitate the production and trade of LNG through the creation of domestic gas-to-power infrastructure and intra-African LNG industry.
Spearheaded by local construction and engineering firm Elite Construcciones, the plant will have a storage capacity of 14,000 cubic meters with 12 bullet tanks.
The tanks are currently the largest factory-built cryogenic bullet tanks in the world with a capacity of 1,228 cubic meters and dimensions of 31 meters by 9.3 metres by 8.8 metres.
Built by American manufacturer Corban Energy Group, each tank is estimated to require 12 hours to complete the 12,000-metre distance from the port to the new plant.
Elite Construcciones is also installing a truck loading station and 12 kilometres of 10-inch gas and diesel pipelines.
Germany rallies behind the project
German companies ESC Engineers and Noordtec are working closely with Elite Construcciones in the design, development and construction of the Akonikien LNG project.
“German companies have once again demonstrated their ability to bring valuable technical expertise and technology to meet Africa’s growing and complex energy needs,” declared Sebastian Wagner, founder at the Germany-Africa Business Forum.
Last month and in order to support the growing energy cooperation between Germany and Africa, the GABF launched a multi-million Euro funding commitment to investing in German energy startups that focus on Africa.
“We congratulate the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons and Elite Construcciones on this remarkable achievement,” declared Nj Ayuk, executive chairman of the African Energy Chamber, who advised on the project.
“This is a beautiful example of local content development and world-class cooperation between a local company and international technical and technology partners.”
Author: Babalwa Bungane
This article was originally published on ESI Africa and is republished with permission with minor editorial changes.