Morocco scales back LNG import plans as gas strategy evolves

Officially, Morocco’s much-anticipated LNG import scheme remains a key element in the next decade’s energy mix, but the project is likely to disappoint most of the potential suppliers and contractors who lined up to participate during earlier iterations, writes Jon Marks

Ever keen to put a positive spin on developments, the Moroccan government is planning to create a national gas logistics company to make the state a key stakeholder in a new gas sector strategy, which is now planned for introduction “before 2030”. Energy, mines and sustainable development minister Abdelaziz Rabbah told Casablanca business monthly Economie Entreprises that this would promote public-private partnerships (PPPs) in major gas sector developments, adding that tenders were being prepared for advisers to draw up an appropriate PPP platform.

However, the timetable set out by Rabbah effectively further delays and scales down the much-anticipated integrated liquefied natural gas (LNG) scheme, whose original timetable envisaged imports of 5bcm/yr (at one stage increased to 10bcm/yr) from 2021-22 (AE 360/6, 366/1). It leaves open the prospect of a more pragmatic project, possibly based on floating regasification and storage units (FRSUs) rather than a conventional fixed terminal – although this outcome has yet to receive any official sanction.

Read the full article in African Energy Issue 389, 28 March 2019.

Morocco’s gas startegy will be discussed as part of the fifth annual Africa Investment Exchange: Gas meeting at RSA House London on 2-3 May.