Rabat – Italfluid Geoenergy, an Italian services company in the gas sector, has secured the rights to design, construct, operate, and maintain a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Tendrara, eastern Morocco.
The LNG plant will be operated by Italfluid Geoenergy, on behalf of the English Sound Energy group, as well as in partnership with the Moroccan consulting firm Sinmarco. The Italian company has secured a $25 million (MAD 226.7 million) investment for the production unit in the Figuig province.
Sound Energy, the holder of the exploration license in the region, announced on March 20, 2020, that it received full rights to carry out its Tendrara Export Pipeline project in Morocco.
The company expressed satisfaction with discussions between its personnel and Moroccan Ministry of Interior and Forestry Department representatives, which led to the approval of a “long-term lease agreement.”
Le360 reports that the project will be financed by the US Exim Bank, the Italian SIMEST group, as well as several local Moroccan banks.
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Sinmarco will provide legal, fiscal, and financial assistance throughout the LNG production unit’s realization period. The realization period is planned to run for 18 months, and the operation unit itself is poised to run for 5 years.
The funding comes at an opportune time for all stakeholders involved. Potentially, Tendrara could expect “productive growth” by mid-2022, but a GlobalData analyst Santiago Varela recently noted that the biggest obstacle the project faces is financing itself.
Considering the multitude of gas-related projects taking off in the North African country in recent years, Morocco’s aspirations to become a gas-rich country have been made evident.
“Morocco has failed to develop its major gas discoveries to date, mainly due to the fact that oil has been the preferred resource over gas,” explained Varela. Nonetheless, “with the focus turning to gas, an attractive fiscal framework and strong domestic demand, international operators are pushing hard to develop the country’s resources,” he continued.