Ghana shifts to new LNG import solution with Gazprom deal

Wannabe LNG importer Ghana has settled on a new solution for its planned cargoes after signing a supply deal with Gazprom Global LNG (GGLNG).

TradeWinds understands that under the arrangement, a planned import terminal would consist of a new permanently-moored, 20,000-cbm barge-based floating regasification unit (FRU), which would be built in China. This would be used in conjunction with an LNG carrier used as a floating storage unit (FSU).

GGLNG would deliver its cargoes to the FSU. LNG would then be transferred to the barge for regasification and sent ashore to the pipeline distribution network.

Local media reports in Ghana say the import structure is being handled by TLNG, a consortium comprising Gazprom Marketing & Trading, African investment group Helios Investment Partners, LNG infrastructure company Gasfin Development and Norway’s Blystad Energy Management.

This week, GGLNG announced it had signed a Gas Sales Agreement (GSA) with Ghana National Petroleum Corp (GNPC), covering supply for 12 years from 2019.

The Gazprom arm said: “This GSA is the first stage in a planned series of partnerships between GGLNG and GNPC, with both companies working to develop the infrastructure and services required to manage and market the projected gas flows from the region.”

The GGLNG deal throws into doubt three planned LNG import solutions for the West African nation.

GNPC had been working with Ofer Group-controlled Quantum Power and Hoegh LNG on an LNG import solution that would use one of Hoegh’s floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs). The Norwegian shipowner has hinted that this unit could be reassigned to another project if delays to the Ghanaian deal continue.

This week, Quantum made a written response to GNPC’s claims that the GGLNG deal offered better value.

Golar LNG delivered its FSRU, the 170,000-cbm Golar Tundra (built 2015), to Ghana last year under its contract with West Africa Gas (WAGL). But the shipowner has turned to arbitration to recover charter-hire on the unit as no progress has been made building land-based infrastructure for the project.

In a third project, IM Skaugen said in January that it had secured long-term charters for three ships in a 10-year deal worth about $420m.

The company, which has since said the project is delayed, did not disclose the name of its counterparty but TradeWinds has reported that the deal was linked to Endeavor Energy’s Ghana 1000 power scheme.