Morocco set to announce gas import contractors

LNG Carrier Tam Tam Wikimedia CommonsAbout 93 per cent of Morocco’s natural gas consumption is met through imports. (Image source: Tam Tam/Wikimedia Commons)Morocco is expected to announce the names of three companies it is choosing for its new long-term contracts to import liquefied natural gas (LNG)

The North African country is evaluating offers from Royal Dutch Shell as well as French, Spanish and American companies. Starting in 2020, Morocco plans to import two million tonnes of LNG a year as part of the first phase of its LNG import plan, according to Abdelkader Amara, the country’s energy minister.

“In the first phase, it will be two million tonnes, and the second step will be from 3.5-4mn tonnes,” Amara told reporters. He added that it is likely for the country to choose three suppliers.

Morocco has launched an international tender seeking advisers for its LNG imports plan, worth up to US$4.6bn and including the import of up to seven billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas by 2025, the construction of a jetty, terminal, pipelines and gas-fired power plants.

The country is a net energy importer and is aiming to diversify energy supplies while reducing its dependence on oil and coal imports. It is also developing a plan to build 4GW of renewable energy. It has started negotiations to secure its imports with exporting countries, including Qatar and Russia, as well as private companies, Amara had said earlier this year.

The country burns about 1 bcm of gas annually at present, which includes around 70mn cubic metres produced locally. Gas currently accounts for only five per cent of the country’s energy bill.

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