The African Development Bank Group, ADBG, has approved a long-term Senior Loan of $400 million to support the building of an integrated Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant in Mozambique.
The approval, which was secured on Thursday, through the ADB Board of Directors, includes the building of a liquifaction facility in the country.
The Mozambique LNG Area 1 Project, ranked Africa’s single largest Foreign Direct Investment to date, comprises a global team of energy developers and operators, led by Total alongside Mitsui, Oil India, ONGC Videsh Limited, Bharat Petroleum, PTT Exploration, as well as Mozambique’s national oil and gas company, ENH.
By its approval, ADB joins a global syndicate of commercial banks, development finance institutions, and export credit agencies, to jointly provide the requisite senior debt financing for the project. Financial close is expected within the first half of 2020.
Commenting on the approval, Bank Group President, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, said: “Through its participation, the African Development Bank again demonstrates its leading role in supporting Africa’s transformation. The catalytic effect brought about by the Bank is strategically aimed to help transform Mozambique from ‘developing’ to ‘developed’ nation.”
Adesina added that, “Working closely with the Government of Mozambique, we can ensure that the local population reaps the benefits from its nascent natural gas value-chain, thus creating growth opportunities and widespread industrialization, while at the same time accelerating regional integration across Southern Africa.”
In June this year, the group of investors reached final investment decision on the project, which carries a price tag in excess of $20 billion, thereby facilitating the initial commercialization of one of the world’s most important gas discoveries in the past two decades.
The LNG liquefaction plant will have a production capacity of 12.88 MTPA.
ADB said on Tuesday that the project is the first of several LNG trains expected to undergo development in the northern part of the country. The bank explained that Mozambique is expected to become one of the world’s largest LNG exporters and its gas represents an important source of supply diversification, which stands to benefit global energy markets.
Through this approval, the Bank said it was carrying a mandate to ensure the project’s adherence to international transparency standards and full compliance with environmental and social requirements, in line with its Integrated Safeguards System.
“In addition, the bank’s participation introduces key social and economic indicators into the loan monitoring, including areas such as job creation, gender empowerment, and linkages for small businesses”, it added, saying also that “With a portion of the gas allocated to the domestic market, the bank’s focus is on supporting economic diversification and industrialization in both Mozambique and across SADC.”
It was further explained that the bank’s involvement is consistent with its country strategy in Mozambique, which aims to leverage natural resources development to accelerate agricultural transformation and investment in sustainable infrastructure, the Board heard.
“The Project also aligns with three of the Bank’s ‘High 5’ Strategic Priorities –(i) Industrialize Africa, through the anticipated industrial activity that domestic gas may generate in Mozambique and the larger Southern Africa region; (ii) Light Up and Power Africa, through the availability of gas to fuel power generation locally and regionally; and (iii) Improving the Quality of Life for the People of Africa, through the creation of thousands of jobs, local SME linkages, and gender empowerment, in addition to the positive impact on macroeconomic stability and the overall regional integration dynamics.
“The Project has already signed eight long-term off-take contracts with some of the world’s most prominent LNG players, including Bharat, Centrica, China offshore state-owned oil & gas producer CNOOC, Taiwan’s CPC Corporation, Electricite de France EDF, JERA, Pertamina, Shell, Tohoku Electric, and Tokyo Gas.
Since its first project in 1977 in Mozambique, the Bank Group has regularly provided significant and diversified support to the country’s development efforts, characterized by a well-balanced sector distribution.