Italian energy group Eni and Congo Republic’s government on Tuesday launched a $5 billion gas liquefaction project expected to reach a production capacity of 3 million tonnes per year in 2025.
The development of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) capacity is part of Italy’s strategy to cut dependence on Russia since it invaded Ukraine.
In August, Eni acquired a floating liquefaction facility to produce and export LNG from Congo, and said it aimed for the facility to be operational in the second half of 2023.
It is part of Eni’s operations of the natural gas development project in the Marine XII block that will supply both the international and local markets, meeting Congo’s electricity needs.
Congo’s hydrocarbons minister, Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua, said the project would make the West African country an exporter of LNG for the first time.
Itoua said, “This should place the Congo among the largest oil and gas producers in sub-Saharan Africa.”
Eni’s managing director for the country, Mirko Araldi, said the project was in line with the company’s goal to stop routine gas flaring, which is said to contribute to global warming.
Eni is the second largest oil operator in Congo Republic after France’s Total. It has been operating in the country for around 50 years, during which it built a gas-fired power plant that fuels nearly 70% of national electricity production.