Ghana has revived plans for construction of marine facilities for handling liquefied natural gas (LNG) at the port of Tema with the signing of agreements for the construction of a floating regasification unit and an LNG terminal as the West African country seeks to increase electricity supply by 30% and become the first to import the LNG in sub-Saharan Africa.

Last fall, Ghana's government, which owns Ghana National Petroleum Corp. (GNPC), said the LNG terminal project would take 18 months to complete and enable enable delivery of 250 million standard cubic feet/day of gas for regasification. Using Tema terminal processing infrastructure, the project promises to supply enough gas for generation of 30% of Ghana total electricity demand.

German-based TGE Marine Gas Engineering GmbH said in mid-September it had won a $350-million contract for a floating regasification unit (FRU) by Tema LNG Terminal Co. Limited, which is owned by London-based private equity firm Helios Investment Partners and China Harbor Engineering Co., an engineering contractor and subsidiary of China Communications Construction Co.

TGE Marine said the contract involves the “design and supply cargo handling system and tank material package with Jiangnan Shipyard Group,” a Chinese designer and developer of liquefied steamships, product tankers, chemical tankers, and bulk carriers.

The TGE Marine's barge-type FRU will have a capacity of 28,000 cu m and will be developed in parallel with a larger floating storage unit according to the Germany contractor. Tema LNG could not immediately confirm the cost of the 95-meter-long FRU with an annual capacity of 2.2 million tpy.

“The barge is a two-tank version with an individual cylindrical tank size of 14,000 cu m,” TGE Marine stated.

“Five modular compact regas skids will provide a peak send-out rate of 335 tonnes per hour or approximately 2.9 million tpy at a send-out pressure of 65 bar,” it added.

Meanwhile, China Harbour Engineering Co. has commenced construction of a marina at Tema port that is currently being expanded by the Chinese contractor. The FRU is expected to be delivered as early as first quarter of 2020.

Gasfin, a member of the Tema LNG consortium, which also includes Gazprom Marketing & Trading Co., has been mandated to oversee the supply of the FRU and Floating Storage Unit (FSU) respectively.

“The project is under construction. It’s not subject to finance. It’s not subject to any other permitting,” said Roland Fisher, founder and CEO of Gasfin Developments.

This is the second attempt by Ghana at building the country's capacity to import LNG after the collapse of a 2014 deal with Golar LNG. That project fell through due to delays in construction of associated onshore gas metering station, a mooring unit, subsea gas pipelines and an onshore gas distribution network. Quantum Power Ghana Gas Limited had signed Golar LNG to deliver a $500-million LNG import terminal. Later in 2016 a 20-year FSRU operations contract between Quantum and Norwegian firm Hoegh LNG Holdings Ltd at Tema LNG terminal also collapsed because of project delays.

The new Tema LNG terminal, 12 km off Tema's shore, which is expected to make Ghana the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to import LNG, will enable importation of 2.2 million tpy, out of which 1.7 million metric tpy is expected from Russia's Rosneft that in May signed an agreement for a 12-year supply of the gas with Ghana National Petroleum Corp. (GNPC). The agreement awaits approval the two companies' boards.

Rosneft's gas that will be regasified using the processing facilities at Tema terminal, will be supplied to GNPC for electricity generation.

This was the second gas supply GNPC has signed with Russian firms after the mid-September 2017 deal with Gazprom Global LNG Ltd, also for a 12-year supply contract starting from 2019. However, scant information is available on the Gazprom/GNPC contract.