Fourteen companies have indicated their interest to develop projects using natural gas from the Rovuma Basin in northern Mozambique.

A source at the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy told the daily newspaper Noticias that a tender launched on Aug 26 resulted in proposals being received from Mitsui, Engro Fertilizer, Shell Mozambique BV, Electricidade de Mocambique (EDM), Yara International, Marubeni, Gl-Africa Energy, Muinvest, Auto-Gas, Epsilon, Jiangsu Sinochem Construction, Union-JNC-JSPDI-VBC-SAL Consortium, Gas Nosu, and MOTSE. The proposals are being evaluated by the ministry.

Following the discovery of natural gas in the Rovuma Basin, off the coast of Cabo Delgado Province, the government and the concessionaires agreed that a portion of the gas should be used domestically.

In August, the government launched the tender to find companies interested in developing projects to use the gas. In particular, the government is interested in proposals for the production of electricity, fertilizer, or liquid fuels for local consumption. The produce of these projects would add value locally and meet the needs of the domestic market.

Initially, the deadline for submissions was Oct 17, but that was extended by a month.

The Rovuma Basin has by far the largest known gas reserves in Mozambique, holding an estimated 180 trillion cubic feet of gas. The operators in the two areas where gas has been found are the Italian company ENI (Area Four) and the US company Anadarko (Area One).

ENI is currently working on developing the Coral field, where 3.3 million tonnes of gas a year will be liquefied on a Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) facility. All of the gas will be sold to BP.

Meanwhile, Anadarko plans to produce 12 million tonnes of LNG a year, using two LNG trains located onshore at Palma, in the north of the province. In addition, a joint project will be launched to liquefy the gas found in areas that straddle Area One and Area Four.

Once all these projects are fully operational, which might not be until the latter part of the next decade, Mozambique is likely to be one of the world’s largest exporters of LNG.