Tanzania resumes talks over giant LNG project, minister says

Tanzania has resumed talks with energy firms over a giant LNG project which includes sending the country’s offshore gas resources to a liquefaction plant in Lindi, according to energy minister January Makamba.

“Today, I kicked off negotiations for the $30 billion Tanzania LNG project. The project will transform our economy,” Makamba said in a social media post on Monday.

The companies include Shell, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Pavilion Energy, and Medco Energi.

“For the past two months, we’ve worked hard behind the scenes to get here. We’re confident that a final investment decision will come sooner than is traditionally the case,” he said.

Shell and Equinor have earlier this year called on Tanzania to support the stalled LNG export project.

The move came just weeks after President Samia Suluhu Hassan took office.

Shell’s chief executive Ben van Beurden also recently held a virtual bilateral meeting with Samia Suluhu Hassan to discuss the LNG project.

Equinor and Shell are both operators of large gas discoveries off the country’s coast.

The Norwegian firm has with partner ExxonMobil discovered more than 20 trillion cubic feet of gas in Block 2 offshore Tanzania. Also, Shell says it has about 16 Tcf of natural gas in Block 1 and 4.

Equinor also said in January it had decided to write down the book value of the Tanzania LNG project on the company’s balance sheet by $982 million. The firm started negotiations with the Tanzania government back in 2018 to set out the commercial and fiscal framework for the LNG project.

It previously said that the Block 2 gas would go to the liquefaction plant in Lindi with a potential capacity of 7.5 million tonnes per year.

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