ABU DHABI (Sputnik), Anastasia Dmitrieva – Equatorial Guinea wants to cooperate with Russia’s gas producer, Novatek, on liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies to Africa, the country’s Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima said.
“We plan to hold talks [with Novatek] very soon. It depends on the chairman, we’ll have the opportunity to discuss what we can do, but we seem to have a better engagement with them about that”, Lima said.
He explained that Equatorial Guinea was building a new LNG storage and regasification plant, bringing it closer to becoming a gas hub for Africa and which is expected to be launched in June next year.
“We are building a terminal in the country, we are planning to build other terminals in the gulf area, that will make sure that the LNG we receive is at a better price. The civil engineering is finished. We are waiting for cryogenic tanks that are arriving in October. First-quarter of next year, all that is commissioned will be finished, and in June, we will start commercial supply to the land”, the minister said.
He added that the construction of other terminals is being planned in the gulf area.
“One of the things that I keep insisting to the Russian companies, especially to LNG exporters — they keep seeing North America, Asia as markets for LNG. But Russia is sending [gas to] very few countries in Africa. You have to see South Africa, Morocco, Egypt — there is new market for the Russian gas. This is what we will have to soon look at, clearly they have been more lucrative and we pay better than Europeans”, Lima told Sputnik.
The new plant, which has a storage capacity of 14,000 cubic metres (494,000 cubic feet) in 12 tanks, is projected to supply LNG to other countries in the region.
In April, the country signed agreements to extract more natural gas on offshore blocks, Allen Unit, operated by US-based petroleum company Noble Energy in a bid to boost feed for LNG production and exports.