Image: Caixin Global
Developed by South African clean energy investor, Gigajoule; oil and gas major, TotalEnergies; and Mozambique’s natural gas distributor, Matola Gas Company (MGC), the front-end engineering design for the Beluluane Gas Company (BGC) liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal project has been completed, with gas expected for delivery by 2024.
The terminal is expected to guarantee an interrupted supply of natural gas to over 30 industries in the Matola area in southern Mozambique and facilitate export to other countries in the Southern African Development Community region. The project will utilize MGC’s existing Rompco gas pipeline network – a pipeline that runs from Mozambique to South Africa – to meet growing demand for natural gas in the southern African countries.
Following years of prefeasibility studies, the LNG import concession was awarded to BGC by the Government of Mozambique following approval for the construction of a new pipeline that will link the terminal to an existing MGC transmission network. The concession will see the development and operation of a permanent floating storage regasification unit (FSRU), as well as onshore infrastructure and a new gas pipeline.
The newly constructed infrastructure is designed to connect the FSRU to a proposed 2,000 MW gas-fired power plant in the Matola province and includes the development of an onshore LNG Truck Loading Facility (TLF) that will provide outlying areas with gas supply.
“The TLF will enable industries and independent power producers to obtain natural gas even in areas not near the natural gas infrastructure,” stated Jurie Swart, Gigajoule CEO, who added, “This becomes all the more important since the announcement of the 100 MW Electricity Regulation Act amendment earlier this year.”
The project’s proximity to existing MGC infrastructure and the Rompco pipeline is expected to substantially reduce transport costs and facilitate the goals outlined in South Africa’s Integrated Resource Plan 2019, which aims to ensure that the country’s grid capacity is comprised of 33% solar photovoltaic and wind power sources by 2030.
“Although the BGC partners are supporters of an energy transition and decarbonization – which is non-negotiable – the sun does not always shine, and the wind does not always blow. Thus, gas-fired power plants are the most cost-effective alternative to balance the variability of renewables and to maintain a constant, dispatchable power supply to the grid,” Swart said, adding that natural gas is a much cleaner source of power generation than coal.
The final investment decision is expected for mid-2022, pending completion and approval of final environmental reports, development processes, and licenses, which have been noted as being on track.
Construction of the terminal was announced in anticipation of declining gas production from the Pande and Temane onshore gas fields in the Inhambane province of Mozambique, which failed to meet the current demand needed for market development and power generation in the region.