ExxonMobil working on larger Rovuma LNG export project in Mozambique

US energy giant ExxonMobil has boosted the capacity of the planned Rovuma LNG onshore terminal in Mozambique and is inviting firms to submit their expression of interest for a FEED contract.

Mozambique Rovuma Venture (MRV) is the operator of the deepwater Area 4 block in the Rovuma basin off Mozambique that would feed the planned LNG export plant on the Afungi peninsula from the Mamba reservoirs.

The joint venture is owned by Eni, ExxonMobil and CNPC, and holds a 70 percent interest in the Area 4 exploration and production concession contract.

In addition to MRV, Galp, Kogas, and Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos each hold a 10 percent interest in Area 4.

ExxonMobil is leading the construction and operation of the liquefaction and related facilities on behalf of MRV, and Eni is leading the construction and operation of the upstream facilities.

More than $22 billion

Back in 2019, the JV awarded a contract for the engineering, procurement and construction for the Rovuma LNG onshore production complex to a consortium made up of JGC, Fluor, and TechnipFMC (JFT).

This award enabled the start of activities for the Rovuma LNG project, but the project has been delayed for years due to the Covid-19 pandemic and security concerns, and the partners did not take a final investment decision.

However, it seems that ExxonMobil, Eni, and their partners are resuming the development of the giant project said to be worth more than $22 billion.

In the meantime, Mozambique also became an LNG exporter. Last year, Eni’s 3.4 mtpa Coral Sul FLNG located offshore Mozambique shipped its first cargo of liquefied natural gas.

This project receives supplies from the Coral South reservoir in Area 4 and Eni and its partners are planning a second floating LNG producer as well.

TotalEnergies is also working to restart work on its giant $20 billion Mozambique LNG export project after it declared force majeure on the project in April 2021 and withdrew all personnel from the site due to new attacks.

18 million tonnes per year

ExxonMobil and its partners previously said that the project includes construction of two natural gas liquefaction trains, with a total nameplate capacity of 15.2 million tonnes per year and associated onshore facilities.

However, the partners are now planning an onshore LNG plant with multiple liquefaction units each with about 1.5 mtpa nominal design capacity, for a total of up to 18 mtpa for the first phase of the project.

ExxonMobil’s unit in Mozambique revealed this in a announcement released last week inviting interested companies to submit their expression of interest to provide front-end engineering design and a potential engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning for the midstream portion of the project’s first phase.

The interested party must provide evidence of being “a major EPC contractor with proven experience” in onshore LNG plants, it said.

According to ExxonMobil, candidates will be subsequently required to sign a confidentiality agreement and submit more detailed information in response to a separately issued qualification questionnaire to establish their qualifications based on additional criteria.

The deadline for submission of the expression of interest is set for on or before March 31, 2023 by 5 PM Maputo time.

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