Energy and chemicals group Sasol says the gas discoveries in the north of Mozambique are large enough to support significant additional “gas monetisation” options over-and-above the liquefied natural gas (LNG) opportunities currently being considered.
There have been significant gas discoveries in the Rovuma basin, offshore northern Mozambique, where it is estimated that there is more than 65-trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas, and plans are being advanced for the commercial development of LNG.
In an interview with Engineering News Online following the release of record interim results, group executive for South African energy Bernard Klingenberg said the group was monitoring a potential role for its proprietary gas-to-liquids (GTL) technology in the Southern African country, where it already had an operating presence in the gas sector.
“We are actively engaging with role-players both in southern and northern Mozambique and will, where appropriate, try to participate in the opportunities that then unfold,” Klingenberg outlined.
There was also potential for additional gas-to-power opportunities besides the 140 MW projects already under construction at Ressano Garcia.
In an earlier presentation, Sasol CEO David Constable emphasised the group’s established position in the Mozambique gas market, highlighting its role in developing the Temane and Pande gasfields and the associated processing and transportation infrastructure.
With its partners, it had invested $3-billion in southern Mozambique, including in the construction of a pipeline to Secunda. “Sasol’s cumulative direct contribution to the Mozambican government from 2004 to 2014 was more than $600-million,” Constable noted.
He also stressed that it had continued growth ambitions for the country, where it was investing in further exploration and development.
“We have formulated a portfolio of downstream gas commercialisation options to match our resource estimate. These options include power generation, chemicals and piped gas, which are all aligned with government drivers specified in the draft Mozambique gas master plan.”
That said, the JSE-listed group’s most immediate GTL growth aspirations lay in the US, where it is pursuing projects valued at between $16-billion and $21-billion in Louisiana.
Sasol expected to make a final investment decision during the current financial year on a 1.5-million-ton-a-year ethane cracker, which could involve an investment of between $5-billion and $7-billion.
A decision on a 96 000 bl/d GTL facility – which would be developed in two phases and which could involve an investment of between $11-billion to $14-billion – would be made 18 to 24 months thereafter.
Various funding options were being evaluated for the cracker and GTL projects, with the front-end engineering and design phase on the ethane project nearing completion.
Sasol currently had a deleveraged balance sheet, but it expected to return to it targeted gearing range of 20% to 40% in the medium term.