West African LNG import schemes proliferate

Gas imports could transform the West African energy landscape if any of the growing number of planned projects get off the ground. New schemes are in the early stages of development in Guinea and Sierra Leone, while Côte d’Ivoire’s new energy minister may seek to revive Abidjan’s Total-led project, writes Thalia Griffiths

US-based company West Africa LNG Group Inc signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Guinea on 8 March to develop a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal to serve the industrial, mining and agro-processing sectors.

Chief executive Cem Hacioglu told African Energy the import terminal would be sited in the Kamsar port region to supply planned bauxite processing plants and agricultural processing and packaging plants at a new Special Economic Zone (SEZ) 50km inland at Boké.

Emirates Global Aluminium Corporation is developing rail and port infrastructure in the Boké region for its bauxite/alumina export project, while the SMB-Winning consortium of Singapore’s Winning Shipping, Guinean transport and logistics company UMS, and Chinese aluminium company Shandong Weiqiao signed agreements in November for a railway and bauxite mining development in the region and an alumina refinery in the SEZ.

Lack of reliable power supply has long been identified as a significant barrier to development of mining and processing in Guinea. While new hydro plants are being developed, their output suffers from seasonal fluctuations. As Guinea considers its options, China has proposed developing a power plant that would burn coal imported from China on vessels that otherwise arrive empty to collect bauxite exports.
African Energy, Issue 389, 28 March 2019. Read more

West Africa’s demand for LNG will be discussed at our fifth annual AIX: Gas meeting in London on 2-3 May.