Tanzania's Government to Review Approval of $42 Billion LNG Project

Reuters, May 31, 2023

Tanzania's government said on Wednesday it had completed negotiations with the investors of its $42 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, with the agreements set to be reviewed for approval next month.

Energy minister January Makamba said the agreements for the approval of the long-delayed project - aimed at unlocking the country's vast but remote offshore gas resources - would be presented to the government's cabinet before they are signed.

While Makamba did not provide a time frame in his address to parliament, the ministry of energy's budget speech for 2023/24 published on its website showed the LNG investors and the government are expected to sign an amended production sharing agreement in June.

"The $42 billion project will change the image and the face of our economy," Makamba said, adding the government would enact a special law to monitor the project.

Earlier this month, Equinor, Shell, and Exxon Mobil said they had agreed a deal with the east African country for the development of an LNG export terminal.

Since taking office in 2021, President Samia Suluhu Hassan has been pushing to complete negotiations for long-delayed projects. The LNG project had stalled for seven years.

Separately, Makamba also said the government was planning to increase electricity production from the current 1,872 megawatts (MW) to 5,810 MW by 2025/26 to meet increased demand.

"This has considered the contributions and importance of the ongoing energy projects from different sources ... with great consideration of the private sector," he said.

(Reporting by Nuzulack Dausen; Editing by Bhargav Acharya and Mark Potter)

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