Ghana’s long-delayed Tema LNG import terminal is finally under construction, the CEO of project partner Gasfin said on October 31.
China Harbour Engineering Co. has started construction work on a marina at Tema port. CSSC Jiangnan shipyard and Gasfin will supply a floating regasification unit (FRU) and a floating storage unit respectively, said the official, Roland Fisher. “The project is under construction. It’s not subject to finance. It’s not subject to any other permitting,” he said.
It has taken years for the project to get to this stage, with initial plans for Golar LNG and Hoegh LNG to provide the necessary vessels falling apart because of contract delays.
Once complete, the terminal will be able to import 2 million tpy of LNG. The majority of this will likely come from Russia’s Rosneft, which has a 12-year deal to supply 1.7 million tpy of the fuel to Ghana National Petroleum Corp. (GNPC). The remaining 300,000 tpy will have to be negotiated with another supplier or sourced through spot markets. Equatorial Guinea signed an initial deal with Accra on LNG in August 2017.
The terminal could start receiving LNG by March 2020, around five years later than originally envisaged, according to Ghana’s government.
The consortium building the US$350 million terminal consists of Africa-focused private equity firm Helios Investment Partners, LNG infrastructure company Gasfin and a local partner. Around US$200 million of the project’s US$350 million cost will be spent in Ghana, according to the government, to whom the terminal will be transferred after 12 years in operation.
The terminal will make Ghana the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to import LNG and could be the first of several small- and mid-scale regasification projects to come online across the continent, according to industry experts.
This is not Ghana’s first effort to secure LNG imports. The Golar Tundra FSRU was docked off Tema for just under a year but left in September 2017 as local partners had failed to make the required progress on infrastructure.