Eni to launch Congo LNG project in 2023, CEO says

Italian energy giant Eni is looking to launch its Congo LNG export project next year, according to chief executive Claudio Descalzi.

The firm is fast-tracking a gas valorization development in the African country to deliver gas for both domestic power generation and LNG export, Descalzi told analysts during the firm’s 2021 results conference call last week.

“This development will timely capture a favorable market window and will support our zero-gas flaring target,” he said.

The floating export project would consist of two modular and flexible liquefaction plants.

“Together, they will reach nearly 2 million tonnes per year of liquefaction capacity at plateau,” Descalzi said.

The first phase includes a near-shore concept while the second phase would have an offshore concept. The project would get associated gas from Eni’s Marine XII block offshore Congo.

Descalzi said that Eni plans to start LNG production in 2023 and that the supplies would be available on the spot market.

2021 LNG sales rise

Eni reported a rise in LNG sales in 2021 due to the restart of operations at the Damietta liquefaction plant in Egypt.

In the January-December period, Eni sold 10.90 bcm or about 7.9 million tonnes of LNG, a rise of 15 percent when compared to the last year.

LNG sales dropped 3 percent year-on-year in December to some 2.80 bcm. Fourth quarter sales also dropped when compared to 2.90 bcm in the previous quarter.

The firm attributed the rise in 2021 to higher volumes of LNG coming from the 5 mtpa Damietta facility located on the Mediterranean coast, about 60 km northwest of Port Said.

The plant started exporting LNG again in February last year following a deal between Egypt’s EGPC and EGAS, Eni, and Naturgy.

It stopped operations in 2012 due to declining domestic production, but new finds such as Eni’s giant Zohr field in the East Mediterranean allowed the partners to restart the plant and ship the first cargo in February.

Besides Egypt, Eni should also launch its Coral Sul FLNG in Mozambique this year.

The 3.4 mtpa unit which weighs about 220,000 tons left Samsung Heavy Industries’ Geoje yard in South Korea under tow on November 16 and arrived in Mozambique in early January.

Eni previously said it would launch production in the second half of 2022.

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