Italy signs gas supply agreements in Angola and Congo-Brazzaville
Italy has quickly finalized its latest deals to secure supplies of fresh gas from Africa in a bid to help replace gas currently flowing from Russia.
Earlier this month, the Italian government, working closely with Italy’s major Eni, struck deals to boost gas imports from Algeria and Egypt, but these latest deals relate to sub-Saharan Africa. .
One agreement covers the gas supply of Congo-Brazzaville where Eni has a significant presence, while another agreement concerns Angola, another sub-Saharan nation that counts as a heart for the Italian actor.
Other African countries where Eni has significant upstream portfolios on which Italian authorities could potentially sign gas-related deals include Mozambique, Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Libya.
Today in Brazzaville, the Managing Director of Eni, Claudio Descalzi, signed a letter of intent to increase gas production and exports, after which a meeting was held with the President of Congo-Brazzaville, Denis Sassou Nguesso.
This agreement was signed in the presence of Congolese Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Claude Gakosso and his Italian counterpart Luigi di Maio, as well as Italian Minister for Ecological Transition Roberto Cingolani and Congolese Minister of Hydrocarbons Bruno Jean Richard Itoua.
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Under the deal, Italy will begin importing gas from the Central African nation, primarily through the development of a liquefied natural gas project that Eni plans to commission in 2023, with a capacity of more than 3 million tonnes per year – the equivalent of over 4.5 billion cubic meters – when fully operational.
This gas will come from Eni’s shallow water Marine 12 license and will fuel at least two floating LNG carriers, one supplied by New Fortress Energy.
LNG exports will enable the commercialization of gas that exceeds Congo’s domestic market needs, Eni said.
In addition, Congo-Brazzaville and Eni have also agreed to define initiatives to promote decarbonization and sustainable energy transition in the country.
These efforts will focus on renewable energy, the development of an agricultural supply chain to produce feedstock for biorefining – without competing with the food chain – the conservation and sustainable management of forests, the adoption of clean cooking systems , as well as the capture, use and storage of carbon dioxide.
Eni is the only company to develop the immense gas resources of Congo-Brazaville.
It currently supplies gas to the Congo Power Plant (CEC), which provides 70% of the country’s electricity production.
Meanwhile, during a diplomatic mission to Angola on April 20 – led by Descalzi, Di Maio and Cingolani – a declaration of intent was signed after a meeting with President Joao Lourenco on developments in the fields of gas, decarbonization and energy transition.
“Today we reached another important agreement with Angola to increase gas supply. Exactly one month after my first visit to Angola, Italy confirms its commitment to diversifying energy supply sources: a constant action to defend Italian families and businesses,” said Di Maio.
Cingolani added: “It is an important agreement that strengthens the partnership between Italy and Angola in the sector of renewable energies, biofuels, LNG and training in the technological and environmental sectors”.
“Not only (is this) a step forward in the diversification of gas sources, but also an important contribution to supporting the global ecological transition.”
Eni has created a joint venture with BP called Azule Energy which will combine the two companies’ assets in Angola BP, mainly blocks 15/06, 18 and 31, as well as their interests in the Angola LNG plant in Soyo and their stakes in the New Gas Consortium, which plans to bring its first project online next year.