Mozambique Set to Start Exporting LNG this Month

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  • Two LNG tankers owned by BP, British Sponsor and British Listener, are due to arrive in the port of Pemba, Mozambique in the next few days.
  • It is widely speculated that the ships will load at the Eni’s Coral Sul Floating LNG facility and carry the first liquified natural gas exports from Mozambique to South Korea and Japan.

BP’s LNG tanker British Sponsor. Image credit: VesselFinder

According to vessel finder, British Sponsor is en route to the port of Pemba, Mozambique, sailing at a speed of 19.7 knots and expected to arrive there on Oct 16, 02:00 while the British Listener is expected to arrive there on Oct 14, 22:01. This suggests that they could be scheduled to load the first consignment of gas from the 3.4 million tonnes/year Coral floating natural gas liquefaction (FLNG) facility operated by Italian major Eni in Area 4 of the Rovuma basin.

LNG production from the Coral platform is contracted to BP under a long-term agreement, with the facility yet to load its first cargo because issues with equipment on board.

Related news: Mozambique’s Sovereign Wealth Fund to receive 40% for Coral Sul Profits 

According to Energy Intelligence, a source informed them in early Augist that “serious issues were reported at Coral FLNG with one critical distillation column (demethaniser) suspected of having internal damage. Shutdown was required for inspection and repair.

Once fully operational Coral Sul is expected to deliver 3.4 mtpa of LNG entirely to BP for export to South Korea and Japan. The vessel is 432 meters long and weighs around 200,000 tonnes, with space for an eight-story living module, accommodating up to 350 people. Like its FLNG predecessors, the Eni FLNG vessel was constructed in South Korea with Samsung Heavy Industries. This will be the world’s deepest FLNG facility with wells drilled nearly 2,000 meters deep. Six wells in total will flow into the liquification unit.

The Coral Sul project will be the first of three projects to produce LNG in Mozambique. The main participant in Area Four is Mozambique Rovuma Ventures, a partnership between ENI, the US oil and gas giant ExxonMobil and the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), which together control 70 per cent of the undertaking. The remaining 30 per cent is divided equally between the Mozambican state hydrocarbon enterprise ENH, Galp Energia of Portugal, and Kogas of South Korea.

The other LNG venture currently underway is the Mozambique LNG Project using gas from Rovuma Basin Offshore Area One. The French oil and gas company, TotalEnergies, is the operator with its partners coming from Japan, India, Thailand, and Mozambique. When operational, the project will produce 12.88 million tonnes of LNG per year for domestic consumption and export.

Progress with this project has been held up following the decision of TotalEnergies in April 2021 to declare force majeure following an attack by islamist terrorists near the Afungi Peninsula where the onshore LNG facility will be constructed. Read more 

However, according to one of the project’s partners, BPCL of India, which holds a ten per cent stake in Area One, the project should resume in the first half of 2023. The Chair and Managing Director of the company, Arun Kumar Singh, told shareholders at its Annual General Meeting that “now, with the efforts of the Government of Mozambique’s forces, supported by a regional coalition, progress is being made in improving the security situation in the region, and the project will resume once the security situation is stabilised in a sustainable manner”.

A third development, the US$ 30 billion Rovuma LNG Project, will use gas from offshore Area Four to produce 15 million tonnes of LNG a year. However, the operator, ExxonMobil, has not yet taken its final investment decision. Read more

The Coral Sul gas extraction and liquefaction platform is the first in deep water, and the first project of its kind developed in Africa.Image credit: ENI

What innovations have been incorporated into the Coral Sul?

The Coral Sul will include cutting edge technology, including four turbo-compression systems to refrigerate the product and generate power for onboard equipment.

For gas liquification, the Coral-Sul deploys an efficient APCI Dual Mixed Refrigerant solution, radically different from Petronas’ nitrogen expansion based one which is tailored to smaller capacities. To safeguard against refrigerant compressor failure, the Coral Sul contains two parallel 50% capacity strings so if one of the two compressors fails, the other circuit will still provide half the output (versus none if the whole system shuts down). The floating plant will also have boil-off gas and booster compressors to capture and re-liquefy excess boil-off gas that escapes the cryogenic tanks as vapor. This addition improves the overall efficiency of conversion to LNG.

Another ground-breaking feature of the Eni Coral Sul plant is in the construction of the hull. The Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) team assembled the 132,000-ton hull with over 2,000 building-block structures. SHI grouped the fundamental blocks into larger subassemblies and continued building until the hull was complete. This approach simplified the manufacturing of the hull by standardising the blocks and drastically reduced construction time. The Coral Sul will be equipped with digital oil field and maintenance technologies, utilizing advanced data analytics and key performance indicators to enable optimal plant performance. Due to the cold storage temperature, an automated well control will dictate the production rate to maximize the vessel’s available refrigeration capacity.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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