London — The final investment decision on the Rovuma LNG project in Mozambique has been pushed back into 2020 despite the award Tuesday of the main engineering, procurement and construction contract, and a commitment from the developers to an initial $520 million spend on the project.
Rovuma LNG — which is expected to start operations in 2025 — is one of three LNG export projects being developed inMozambique as the East African country looks to join the ranks of the world’s top LNG producers.
US major ExxonMobil and Italy’s Eni are leading the project — ExxonMobil as operator of the construction and operation of the LNG trains and Eni as upstream operator.
Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi, speaking at a ceremony in Maputo Tuesday, said the FID on the project — expected to cost around $30 billion — would be announced in the first half of 2020, according to a statement posted to the Mozambique government website.
Nyusi said at the ceremony that the developers had committed to an initial investment of $520 million on the project,which ExxonMobil said in May would move to FID later in 2019.
The US firm could not be reached for immediate comment Wednesday.
EPC CONTRACT AWARD
Despite the delay to FID, the project took a step closer to being officially sanctioned with the award Tuesday of themain engineering, procurement and construction contract to a consortium of the US’ Fluor, Japan’s JGC and France’s TechnipFMC.
The EPC contract included an immediate release of a limited notice-to-proceed, Fluor said in a statement Tuesday.
The Rovuma LNG complex will consist of two gas liquefaction trains, with a total LNG nameplate capacity of 15.2 million mt/year as well as associated onshore facilities.
Mark Fields, president of Fluor’s energy business, said the group would work with the consortium to advance the “landmark project.”
A joint venture between ExxonMobil, Eni and China’s CNPC holds 70% of the shares in the Area 4 concession, which provides the feedgas for the project.
The other partners are Portugal’s Galp, South Korea’s Kogas and Mozambique’s state Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (ENH), which each hold a 10% interest.
Mozambique is expected to become a major exporter of LNG in the next decade, with some 30 million mt/year of liquefaction projects already proposed, equivalent to almost 10% of global supply in 2018.
Two other projects are under development: the 3.4 million mt/year Coral floating LNG facility sanctioned by Eni in June 2017; and the Total-operated 12.9 million mt/year Mozambique LNG project that reached FID in June.