HomeBiggest projectsTanzania's Lindi LNG project background and latest updates

Tanzania’s Lindi LNG project background and latest updates

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Plans for the Tanzania Liquefied Natural Gas Project (TLNGP) are moving ahead after Tanzania signed a framework deal with Equinor of Norway and Shell of the United Kingdom, bringing them closer to breaking ground on the US$ 30bn project.

A final investment decision is expected by 2025, with operations beginning in 2029-2030 at a liquefied natural gas facility to be built in Tanzania’s southern seaside town of Lindi, according to the agreement. It is a major step forward in Tanzania’s efforts to begin the export of a portion of the massive gas resources off its coast, which are estimated to be worth more than 57 trillion cubic feet (1,630 billion cubic metres).

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Tanzania’s geographic location makes it simple to transfer natural gas to other nations, particularly those in Asia, that are eager for new energy supplies. President Samia Suluhu Hassan of Tanzania, who was also there, praised the preliminary accord. Plans for the LNG project had been dormant for several years under her predecessor, John Magufuli, but she resurrected them after becoming president last year.

Unni Fjaer, Equinor’s Tanzania country manager, said the contract has been in the works for a long time. The president on the other hand stated that they had numerous stops, but that because of the government’s commitment, they continued to engage in negotiations and that she feels Tanzanian gas gives a big potential for the country.

Equinor is exploring a block 100 kilometres (60 miles) off the coast of Lindi alongside ExxonMobil, where it claims to have discovered 20 trillion cubic feet (566 billion cubic metres) of natural gas. Shell claims to have discovered 16 trillion cubic feet (453 billion cubic metres) of gas in two further off-shore blocks in the same area alongside Ophir Energy and Pavilion Energy. During the coronavirus epidemic, Tanzania’s economy took a hit as travel restrictions wreaked havoc on the country’s tourist industry, which is a major source of revenue.

Tanzania Liquefied Natural Gas Project (TLNGP) Background

Under consideration since 2014 following the discovery, four years earlier, of large natural gas fields off the coast of Tanzania, the Tanzania Liquefied Natural Gas Project (TLNGP) that is also known as the Likong’o-Mchinga Liquefied Natural Gas Project (LMLNGP) involves the development and construction of an onshore LNG plant with two gas liquefaction trains that have a total production capacity of 10 million metric tons per year (mtpa).

The plant will process and liquefy approximately 36 trillion cubic feet of natural gas from Tanzania’s Block 2 which is operated and owned by Equinor and ExxonMobil, and Tanzania’s Blocks 1 and 4 which are operated by Shell (RDSa.L).

Liquefied gas from the TLNGP, the construction cost of which is approximately US$ 30bn, will be used locally and also exported to international markets.

Also Read: Mozambique LNG project timeline and all you need to know

Reported earlier

2013

Equinor announced major gas discoveries in offshore Tanzania and positioned the country as a potentially large gas producer in East Africa. The company said that together with partner ExxonMobil in Block 2 they have discovered estimated volumes of more than 20 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of gas in place.

It further pointed out that an LNG project is a viable solution to secure the development of the gas resources and maximize the value of the project for the government and for the companies responsible for the exploration and the development activities.

The company said that following the success of its exploration campaigns and as the operator of Block 2, it is preparing for the development of the gas resources which are
located about 100km from the coast of Lindi, at a water depth of 2500 meters. Therefore, a site was identified in the Lindi region to host the onshore LNG plant once the final investment decision is made by the investors. TPDC is the licence holder for the offshore Block 2 and the land title holder for the selected LNG site.

It added that the gas in Block 2 is spread across several reservoirs in locations situated
kilometres apart. This will require multiple production wells to extract the gas and bring it to shore.

August 2016

Feasibility studies for Tanzania Liquefied Natural Gas Project (TLNGP) to begin

The government of Tanzania is expected to commence an environmental impact assessment (EIA) towards the end of this month on a piece of land where a mega gas plant in Tanzania will be constructed. The $30 billion gas plant in Tanzania will be located at Likong’o Village in Lindi Region. Tanzania has over 55 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves.

BG Group which is being acquired by Royal Dutch Shell, together with Statoil, Exxon Mobil and Ophir Energy intend to construct the onshore LNG export terminal in conjunction with the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC).

Modestus Lumato, the TPDC principal petroleum engineer said the EIA is scheduled to commence soon and will go hand in hand with the Development Report Induction Plan. Lumato said the two assessments will be carried out for three months to establish whether it is viable to put up the project in the designated area.

“We expect to finalise the implementation of the primary investigations by the end of this year,” he said. “After the EIA is completed we will then start compensating people whose land will be taken.”

He added that the government chief valuer had already approved a compensation plan for people who will be relocated from their lands to give room for the project. Asked about the amount of money involved in the compensation, he said it would be known when the process kicks off.

“TPDC has keenly studied the report and determined how much will be paid. We are first dealing with the EIA process before we endorse the compensation process,” said the TPDC principal petroleum engineer.

Reports indicate that TPDC has a title deed for 2,071.705 hectares for building the project. An additional 17,000 hectares will be used as an industrial park.

Several assessments to be done

However, he added that several assessments would be done before concluding whether to carry on with the project or not. The first assessment is called the Free Front End Engineering Design which would be followed by the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) which mainly involves an engineering design approach to minimize project expenses.

Mr Lumato said that the completion of the FEED process is crucial to establish the outcome of the project before venturing into the final investment decision so as to commence with construction.

September 2016

Tanzania opens talks on the construction of natural gas processing plant

Tanzania is in talks with six oil companies on the construction of a natural gas processing plant in the country.

The Ministry of Energy held consultations with the six companies namely; Statoil ASA, ExxonMobil, BG Group, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Ohir Energy Plc and Pavilion Energy Pte Ltd as well as Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC), Petroleum Upstream Regulatory Authority (Pura) and Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) ahead of a stakeholders’ meeting which is set for the end of November.

Initial talks which were held in September this year at the Ministry of Energy offices in Tanzania involved discussions on how the firms would execute the project mutually and how the different production sharing agreements would be harmonized and also introduced a new Petroleum Act that came into effect last year.

Apart from that, the government and oil firms talked about the modalities of the commercial production of natural gas reserves which are estimated to be 57 trillion cubic feet discovered offshore in the southern Tanzania region only for domestic use and export to Asia.

Energy Minister Sospeter Muhongo pointed out that Tanzania was very enthusiastic to see gas contribute to the expansion of other sectors in the country like power generation and fertiliser production.

“We would like natural gas to be one of the key drivers of economic growth in Tanzania. We can use natural gas to manufacture fertiliser, generate electricity and also earn foreign exchange by exporting LNG (liquefied natural gas),” said Mr Muhongo.

The gas liquefier and the export terminal are projected to be constructed at Likong’o in Lindi at a cost of US$ 30bn. It will have two processing units (trains) each with a capacity of 5 million tonnes per year.

The investment decision has so far been delayed since 2014. In July 2015, Tanzania’s parliament passed the Petroleum Act.

July 2017

Talks on Tanzania Liquefied Natural Gas Project (TLNGP) Reach Crucial Stage

Plans are underway by the International oil companies engaged in the construction for the establishment of a commercial framework for the $30Bn liquefied natural gas (LNG) according to media reports.

The framework is projected to define and compare alternative commercial and financial arrangements of both government and the private sector in a bid to address the unique attributes of the project.

It basically outlines the rights and obligations between the government and the investors in the process of executing major projects such as the LNG one.

Also read: Tanzania opens talks on construction of natural gas processing plant

BG Tanzania external relations manager Patricia Mhondo spoke on the issue saying that the companies have done the groundwork to establish the LNG commercial framework. He further added that they are currently awaiting a government response on the same.

Reports show that the government announced it will conduct an environmental impact assessment (EIA) at Likong’o Village in Lindi Region where LNG Plant is to be built. Tanzania has found at least 55t cubic feet of natural gas reserves.

Analysts are hopeful that the project is viable and that it will result in a number of opportunities for opportunities to Tanzanians and investors alike. Until 2014, it was estimated that the development of the LNG plant would create over 10,000 new direct jobs and thousands more indirectly. It would also enable the country to collect billions in taxes which will help among other things, to service the national debt and fund healthcare and education.

However, according to Repoa strategic research director Abel Kinyondo, the plant can only contribute so much. He elaborated further adding that when the gas is fully exploited it will contribute only 6% to the gross domestic product. Moreover, this also depends on its connectedness to other sectors.

May 2018

Tanzania seeks transaction advisory on US$ 30bn gas project

Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation(TPDC) is currently seeking a transaction adviser in regards to its US$ 30bn natural gas project that is currently entering a vital developmental stage.

This comes hardly a month after one of the gas pipeline development partners signified that it would be signing the Host Government Agreement with Tanzania later this year hence why the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation seeks an adviser to support the government negotiation team.

Also Read: Mega gas plant in Tanzania to be constructed

TPDC confirmed the reports and said that the contract will last two years and further explained the functions of the transaction adviser which will include developing a commercial, legal and technical framework for the LNG project.

“The work of the transaction adviser will include coming up with a commercial, legal and technical framework for the LNG project, building capacity and supporting the government team, and devising the best approach for negotiating the host government agreement,” TPDC said in a notice.

The country is currently in need of approximately US$30bn which will come in handy in building a gas plant with an export terminal.

Delays of the project

The project has experienced delays mainly due to land acquisition wrangles, legislation challenges within its hydrocarbon industry and the low gas prices that made the development less feasible. Since then, TPDC acquired the title deed for the 2,071 hectares set aside for the construction of the planned LNG terminal at Likong’o in Lindi.

On the other hand, Shell with its partner Ophir Energy has already invested over US$ 1bn to make the exploration appraisal programme move at a speedy rate. The firm, which owns 16 wells for blocks 1, 2 and 3, contains an estimated one-third of Tanzania’s gas reserves.

The company said that it had conducted extensive technical studies on Block 2 that have shown that the seabed conditions are challenging with large underwater canyons. Therefore they concluded that they can safely and most efficiently develop the fields by using subsea wells (wells located at the seabed), without costly installations above sea level.

The gas will then be transported by a subsea pipeline to shore. Once the gas reaches shore on the common LNG site, north of Lindi, it will be processed and cooled down to form liquefied natural gas, LNG.

The company further noted that to be able to develop the large gas discoveries in Block 2, which require significant capital investments by international investors, it is necessary to secure access to well-established international LNG markets. Tanzania is strategically located to serve the markets in Asia, Europe and South America.

It said that the Block 2 LNG production, expected to be 7.5 million tons per year (MTPA), will be exported to the international markets using dedicated LNG ships, which will constitute the main source of revenues. A part of the gas arriving in Lindi will be allocated to the domestic market and in the future potentially exported to regional markets.

Talks on a host government agreement and other terms for the US $30bn Tanzania LNG project commenced.

June 2019

Construction of Tanzania Liquefied Natural Gas Project (TLNGP) to commence in 2022

The government of Tanzania has announced that construction works on the long-delayed liquefied natural gas (LNG) project shall commence in 2022.

Energy Minister Medard Kalemani, said that the government plans to conclude talks with a group of foreign oil and gas companies led by Norway’s Equinor on developing the LNG terminal. Equinor, alongside Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil and Ophir Energy and Pavilion Energy, plans to build the onshore LNG plant in the Lindi region.

“We instructed the government negotiation team to hold separate talks with each individual investor, instead of the previous arrangement of holding joint talks with all the investors. We expect these talks to be completed within seven months,” he added.

Also Read: Construction of US $75m liquefied petroleum gas plant in Kenya begins

Liquefied natural gas

Construction of the LNG project was held up for years due to regulatory delays. The minister said that the project will be concluded in 2028. The project is a joint venture between TPDC and German firm Ferrostaal Industrial Projects, Danish industrial catalysts producer Haldor Topsoee and Pakistan’s Fauji Fertilizer Company. The international oil companies (IOCs) will develop the project in partnership with the state-run Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC).

The LNG export terminal will be built near huge offshore natural gas discoveries in deep water south of the country. The project will have the capacity to produce 10 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of liquefied natural gas.

Tanzania has estimated recoverable reserves of over 57.54 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas. The country uses some of the gas for power generation and running manufacturing plants.

2019

The talks were suspended by the Tanzanian government towards the end of the year to pave the way for a review of the country’s production sharing agreement (PSA) regime ordered by then-President John Magufuli. The president called for the review of PSA clauses related to the repatriation of funds, arbitration issues, revenue sharing and parliamentary power.

April 2021

The long-stalled US $30bn LNG project in Lindi Tanzania to be revived

The newly sworn-in Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hassan is set to revive the long-stalled US $30bn liquefied natural gas LNG project in Lindi Tanzania. The project was sidelined under the administration of the former President, the late John Pombe Magufuli with his administration instead prioritising the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline to take oil from Uganda to the Tanzanian port of Tanga.

According to the President, she tried to work on the LNG project in Lindi Tanzania when she was sworn in as the vice president back in 2015 but discovered it was beyond her and stopped. Nevertheless, she has now directed the Ministry of Energy to accelerate talks with the project’s stakeholders, Shell and Equinor.

Also Read: Total suspends restart of works at Mozambique LNG project amid attacks

LNG project in Lindi

Tanzania LNG would involve gas from Shell-operated blocks 1 and 4 and Equinor’s Block 2 being piped from deep-water subsea wells to two or three liquefaction trains at Lindi. These blocks house about 35 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas split about evenly between the two operators’ assets.

According to Shell, The offshore deepwater gas in the south of Tanzania is located in fields
over 100km offshore, and some are in water that is up to 2,500m deep and 2,500m below the seabed. Distance between the fields can also be over 100km apart. Depth, distance and
terrain mean the Tanzania LNG project is at the cutting edge of deep-sea exploration technology and provides a unique opportunity for developing unique competencies and
capabilities in the local supply chain and within TPDC as the project tackles these technical obstacles.

LNG is natural gas that has been cleaned and cooled in huge refrigeration units to a temperature of around -162oC. The LNG process converts the gas into a liquid and substantially reduces the volume of the gas by more than 600 times. This is similar to shrinking a football to the size of a marble. This makes the gas easier to store and transport safely to markets around the world in purpose-built ships.

June 2021

Construction of US $30bn Tanzania Liquefied Natural Gas Project (TLNGP) to begin in 2023

Construction works on the US $30bn liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Tanzania is set to begin in 2023. Energy Minister Medard Kalemani announced the plans and said the scheduled date follows the resumption of talks with companies including Equinor ASA. Construction is expected to take about five years.

The billion-dollar LNG project in Tanzania has been in consideration since 2014. It however stalled for more than a year under the administration of the former President, the late John Pombe Magufuli who prioritized the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline project.

Also Read: The long-stalled US $30bn LNG project in Lindi Tanzania to be revived

Resumption of negotiations

President Suluhu then took charge and directed her administration to fast-track delayed investments on the project. She ordered the resumption of negotiations with the companies in May, about four months after Equinor’s decision to take a US $982m impairment on the project following the failure to settle fiscal and commercial terms with Tanzania.

“We expect to conclude negotiations for a number of government agreements and review production sharing agreements by June next year. The compensation process has been finalized to pave way for the project,” said Kalemani.

The country will involve gas from Shell-operated blocks 1 and 4 and Equinor’s Block 2 being piped from deep-water subsea wells to two or three liquefaction trains at Lindi. These blocks house about 35 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas split evenly between the two operators’ assets.

“Meanwhile, discussions are ongoing on another LNG plant which will involve the construction of a two-train onshore that will export gas from the country. Other project partners include Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Exxon Mobil Corp., Sophi Energy Ltd. and Pavilion Energy Pte Ltd.  A pipeline network to connect and distribute gas to more than 10,000 homes and factories, in the Dar es Salaam is also being developed by the government,” said Kalemani.

January 2022

Tanzania Liquefied Natural Gas Project (TLNGP) has hired Baker Botts L.L.P., as their Transaction Advisor

The government of Tanzania through Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC), the national oil company of the East African country and owner of all licenses for energy development in the state, has hired Baker Botts L.L.P., leading international energy, technology, and life sciences law firm, as the Transaction Advisor to the Government Negotiation Team and TPDC regarding the development of Lindi LNG Project.

Particularly, the American multinational law firm will help the country hold talks with Equinor ASA (formerly Statoil and StatoilHydro), Shell plc, Exxon Mobil Corporation (stylized as ExxonMobil), Pavilion Energy Pte Ltd, and MedcoEnergi, the international oil companies involved in the project.

The objective is to reach the signature of a host government agreement, which according to January Yusuf Makamba, the Tanzanian Minister of Energy, outlines not only the legal but also the commercial and technical aspects of the project, by April 2022.

The talks on the HGA resumed in November 2021, after being in limbo for nearly two years.

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1 COMMENT

  1. It’s my hope that an outstanding number of employment will be created for Southern peoples.

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