May 24, 2024
Congo Takes Lead in Gas Monetization with Second Eni-Led Floating LNG Project
– By Godswill Odiong

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At a time when Africa most needs its oil and gas resources, the Republic of the Congo is taking the lead, driving an ambitious gas monetization agenda led by the Minister of Hydrocarbon, H.E. Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua – who also served as the President of the African Petroleum Producers Organization for 2022 – and national oil company, La société nationale des pétroles du Congo (SNPC), in close collaboration with a suite of regional and global energy majors.

And the most recent achievement saw Italian energy major, Eni, signing a contract with Wison Heavy Industry for the construction and installation of the Republic of the Congo’s second floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility – an achievement set to significantly increase the production and exportation of liquefied natural gas (LNG). With a capacity to produce 2.4 million tons per annum (mtpa) of LNG, the facility represents part of the wider Marine XII gas valorization plan, and is set to increase LNG production on Marine XII to three mtpa by as early as 2025.

The announcement of a second FLNG facility could not come at a better time for both the country and the African continent at large. In addition to reaffirming Eni’s commitment to the country, the launch of a second FLNG platform is set to significantly improve domestic production, consolidating the Republic of the Congo’s position as a regional gas hub. With over 10 trillion cubic of natural gas resources, the development of Congolese gas serves as one of the key solutions to ensuring the regional economy not only develops, but thrives. As such, the government has been focused on investment, creating the right business environment that has allowed majors such as Eni to launch large-scale projects such as this.

“What the Ministry of Hydrocarbons, led by H.E. Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua, and the SNPC have done in the Congo should be commended. They have been committed to gas and the results are already showing. The Republic of the Congo has the chance to become not only a regional but global producer of LNG, and the launch of a second FLNG facility by Eni will be key for making this objective a reality,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber.

For their part, both the Ministry of Hydrocarbons and the SNPC have been resilient, despite ever-increasing pressure by global actors for Africa to immediately transition away from oil and gas. Recognizing the critical role natural gas has and will continue to play in making energy poverty history, kickstarting industrialization while driving long-term and sustainable socioeconomic growth, the Ministry and SNPC have long-been committed to creating an enabling environment for investors, with the announcement of Eni’s second FLNG facility serving to only reaffirm the efforts taken by the government to do just that.

Under the country’s broader Gas Master Plan – a national framework developed by the Ministry of Hydrocarbons and Wood Mackenzie and guided by the SNPC that lays the foundation for the promotion of gas utilization and the attraction of foreign direct investment – the Republic of the Congo has prioritized an enabling environment, making a strong case for project launches, investment commitments and international partnerships. In this regard, other African countries should follow suite, as the country serves as a benchmark for other gas-rich nations across the continent.

The very topic of natural gas monetization represents a central point of discussion during the 2023 edition of the continent’s premier event for the oil and gas sector: African Energy Week (AEW). Under a mandate of making energy poverty history by 2030, AEW 2023 – taking place from October 16-20 in Cape Town, South Africa – represents the ideal platform to sign deals, form partnerships and capitalize on African energy opportunities in 2023 and beyond. Having taken on a central role during AEW 2022, the Republic of the Congo will, once again, lead discussions and deals during AEW 2023.

“AEW 2023 represents the premier platform where energy deals are made. During the 2022 edition, a number of billion-dollar deals were signed that are already translating into project launches and developments. During the 2023 edition, this trend will only continue as stakeholders from across the global and regional energy landscape make their way to Cape Town to become part of Africa’s energy movement. The announcement of a second FLNG facility in the Congo represents just one of the types of developments AEW 2023 is set to unlock, and you can be a part of the next wave of Africa-focused deals.”

AEW 2023 is set to return even bigger than better than previous editions. Secure your spot among energy ministers and policymakers, global energy majors and investors, as well as regional stakeholders and companies at the biggest gathering for the energy sector on the continent.

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