Equatorial Guinea Wednesday October 17 joined the league of global natural gas exporters, launching its first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) train into the market.
African Union Chairman, President John Kufuor of Ghana, unveiled the train at an impressive ceremony in Malabo, capital of Equatorial Guinea, describing the occ a sion, which was also attended by President Umaru Yar’Adua of Nigeria, as “moment o us”.
With its inaugural shipment of LNG 24 May, the Equatorial Guinea LNG Holdings Lt d (EG LNG) operates from a new plant in the Gulf of Guinea.
The island country has joined an elite group of LNG producers, adding to worldwi de supply of clean-burning natural gas.
With the launch, the country has become the third after Nigeria and Trinidad and Tobago in the Atlantic region and the 14th country globally to export LNG.
Kufuor said African countries had begun to take their destinies in their hands b y adding value to much of the raw materials they export.
He commended Equatorial Guinea for ensuring that oil wealth was impacting on its people and expressed the hope that wealth from the gas project would continue i n the trend.
Also speaking, the Managing Director of EG LNG, Ken Woodworth, said the plant wa s completed six months ahead of schedule and within budget.
Woodworth said that with the completion of Train 1, the company would supply 3.4 million tonnes of LNG per annum to BG Gas Marketing Ltd for the next 17 years.
“It is our hope that this Train 1 will be a catalyst for the development of futu re trains for EG LNG, further raising Equatorial Guinea’s standing among the wor l d’s LNG producing country,” he said.
Also speaking, the President of Marathon, a shareholder in the company, Clarence Cazalot, said work on the plant had set a new standard with which future worldw i de LNG projects would be judged.
Because proven gas reserves are located too remote from markets to be connected by pipeline, delivering stranded gas depend on global shipments of LNG.
Nigeria has advanced in the LNG sub-sector, with five trains already operational and a sixth one nearing completion.
Equatorial Guinea has an estimated reserve of 30 trillion cubic feet of gas with in 100 kilometres of Bioko Island, one of the five islands in the country.
Apart from Yar’Adua and Kufuor, Frederico Menendez of Sao Tome and Principe, as well as a representative of Paul Biya of Cameroon, also attended the ceremony.