MAPUTO, The Italian energy company ENI has announced financial close of its floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) project in the Rovuma Basin off the coast of the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado with total financingobtained at 4,675.5 million US dollars.

The sum comprises covered loans from five institutions — BPI Export Credit Agency (France); Kexim Export Credit Agency (Republic of Korea); Ksure Export Credit Agency (ROK); Sace Export Credit Agency (Italy), Sinosure Export Credit Agency (China) — plus two direct commercial bank loans, including one from the Korea Export-Import Bank (Kexim).

The FLNG platform will be installed above the Coral South gas field in Rovuma Basin Offshore Area Four. The Coral South final investment decision was announced in June, and the total investment in the project is expected to be around eight billion USD.

ENI controls a 50 per cent indirect interest in Offshore Area Four, through ENI-East Africa, which holds 70 per cent of the concession. The remaining 20 per cent held via ENI-East Africa belongs to the Chinese company CNPC. The other three partners, with ten per cent each, are Galp Energia of Portugal, Korea Gas, and Mozambique’s National Hydrocarbon Company (ENH).

ENI has now sold half its holding in ENI-East Africa to the American oil and gas giant, ExxonMobil, but ENI remains the operator of Area Four.

ENI has stated that it will continue to lead the Coral FLNG project and all upstream operations in Area 4, while ExxonMobil will lead the construction and operation of natural gas liquefaction facilities onshore.

The FLNG platform is expected to start production in 2022, with a capacity of 3.4 million tonnes of LNG a year. Under an agreement reached in 2016, all of the LNG produced at the floating platform will be sold to another oil major, British Petroleum (BP).