The Board of Directors of Mozambique’s National Hydrocarbon Company (ENH) has approved the investment plan for the development of the Coral South gas field in Area Four of the Rovuma Basin, off the coast of the northern province of Cabo Delgado.

The decision was taken at a Board meeting last week but was only made public on Tuesday, the day after the Chief Executive Officer of the Italian energy company ENI, Claudio Descalzi, confirmed to Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario that investment of 10 billion US dollars in Coral South will go ahead.

ENI is the operator of Area Four. Its partners are ENH, the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), Galp Energia of Portugal and Kogas of South Korea.

ENH Chairperson Omar Mitha said the ENH approval of the investment was a fundamental step in the process leading to the approval of the Final Investment Decision, followed by the building of the floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility, where the Coral South gas will be processed.

After his meeting with Rosario, Descalzi told the media that, as soon as the other partners give the green light, development of the Coral South field will press ahead.

According to ENH, during the exploratory phase, the partners in the consortium invested about 2.8 billion USS. A further eight billion USD will now be invested in drilling six sub-sea wells and connecting them to the FLNG. Since ENH has a ten per cent holding in Area Four, it must contribute 800 million USD.

ENH believes that the project could create 820 jobs, 90 per cent of them to be filled by Mozambicans. When the FLNG is functioning it is expected to produce more than 3.3 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) a year.