Ecow-Gas to develop more LNG facilities in West Africa for better reach

Ecow-Gas, a newly formed Netherlands-based infrastructure development firm, plans to build and operate several new LNG facilities in West Africa to enhance market penetration for the fuel in the region.

Ecow-Gas is an affiliate of the Tema LNG Terminal Company (TLTC), which owns Ghana's soon-to-be-opened LNG import terminal. It also has exclusive rights to build and manage storage and regasification facilities in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Shippers can transfer small-scale LNG into these locations by reloading from the Tema facility, which will serve as a regional LNG hub.

The terminal's ability to reload any volume of LNG from 7,000 cu m to 30,000 cu m enhances the overall economics of small-scale liquefied natural gas in the region, guaranteeing that supply to smaller regional markets can be as per their demand.

The completion of the Tema LNG terminal construction will result in an LNG hub with a 180,000-cu m storage capacity. It implies that high capital expenditure and finance expenses are no longer required to bring LNG to new countries. Sources close to the matter mentioned that economies can share risk and absorb capacity when demand varies.

It is worth noting that the West African region has a large extractive industry with a high demand for power, which is now met primarily by expensive distillate fuels. The region requires a total of 1 million mt/year of LNG for power generation and displacement of distillations in the extractive sector. The figure is likely to increase to around 1.8 million mt/year, as countries in the region invest in new generations and switch away from heavier fuels.

According to sources familiar with the company's activities, the development of this LNG storage and transfer facility network will make it easier to deploy and use gas, to spur the economic growth of countries in the ECOWAS region.

This would be an opportunity for Ghana to offer LNG to its neighbors, however, some CSOs opposed the notion far ahead of the commencement of the LNG regasification facility.

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