In a significant development for the energy sector, the President of the Republic of the Congo, H.E. Denis Sassou Nguesso, and Claudio Descalzi, CEO of global energy major Eni, gathered on April 25 to lay the foundation stone for the Congo Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project. This groundbreaking initiative represents the country’s inaugural venture into natural gas liquefaction and serves as a crucial diversification strategy for Eni.
With a projected annual output of 3 million tons (equivalent to approximately 4.5 billion cubic meters per year) by 2025, the project holds immense potential for the Republic of the Congo’s energy sector. The project includes an accelerated development schedule and a zero-flaring approach, comprising the installation of two floating LNG (FLNG) plants which will process gas from the Nenè and Litchendjili fields – already in production – as well as any new fields that come online. The FLNG vessels will have a production capacity of 0.6 million tons per annum (mtpa) and 2.4 mtpa, and will begin production by 2023 and 2025, respectively.
The African Energy Chamber – as the voice of the African energy sector – supports the project as it represents a significant step towards achieving energy security in Africa by leveraging natural gas resources. Congo LNG will play a pivotal role in meeting the energy needs of the Republic of Congo, while also bolstering economic growth and offering valuable export opportunities.
The establishment of Congo LNG reflects the country’s fortitude to unlock the potential of its natural resources and strengthen its position in the global energy market. By harnessing gas reserves and embracing LNG production, the Republic of the Congo aims to become a key player in the energy sector, driving economic growth, job creation, and technological advancements. Congo LNG aims to tap into the abundant gas resources of the Marine XII block, providing the country with a reliable source of power generation. Additionally, the project will contribute to Africa’s energy security through the provision of LNG for the regional energy market, thereby kickstarting industrialization and socioeconomic growth in Africa. In addition to boosting domestic opportunities and value addition from gas, the project is set to generate significant revenue for the country by supplying LNG to international markets, with a particular emphasis on Europe. As such, the significant of the project cannot be overstated.
“Today we celebrate the launch of one of Eni’s main projects, made possible by the collaboration with the Republic of the Congo and destined to significantly contribute to both Italy and Europe’s energy security and industrial competitiveness. This outcome speaks to the importance of long-term collaboration with our African partners at a time when important strategic choices need to be made regarding future diversification of supply routes and European energy mixes, in the direction of energy accessibility and availability and progressive decarbonization,” stated Descalzi, Eni’s CEO at the inauguration ceremony.
The project demonstrates the value of public-private partnerships in Africa’s energy sector, showcasing how collaboration between African resource-rich countries the international oil companies leads to successful project developments.
“We commend the Minister Jean-Richard Bruno Itoua and SNPC’s Raoul Ominga and their teams and Eni for their visionary approach in launching the Congo LNG project. This significant move not only positions the country as a key player in the global LNG market but also signifies a major step towards energy security in Africa,” states NJ Ayuk, the Executive Chairman of the AEC, adding that, “The development of natural gas resources and LNG production in Africa is vital to meet energy demands, drive economic growth, and foster regional cooperation. The Congo LNG project serves as a role model for other African nations, enabling them to harness gas resources, create value-added industries, and contribute to Africa’s energy transition. It signifies a major milestone in Africa’s energy journey, solidifying the continent’s position as a key global energy player. ”
The AEC’s support for Congo LNG underscores the importance of regional cooperation in driving sustainable energy solutions and strengthening Africa’s energy landscape. We hope to see more project updates during African Energy Week in Cape Town. This major step towards energy security through gas exploitation not only benefits the Republic of the Congo but also paves the way for other African nations to leverage their natural resources for sustainable development.