Gasol forms alliance with Socar for West Africa LNG project
London (Platts)--20Dec2012/714 am EST/1214 GMT
London-listed Gasol said Thursday it has signed a strategic alliance
with Socar Trading in relation to its proposed LNG import project in Benin,
Under the terms of the alliance, Socar Trading -- the marketing and
development arm of Socar, the state oil company of Azerbaijan -- will supply
all LNG required for the project and assist Gasol with the provision of a
floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) in the port of Cotonou, Benin.
The alliance will ensure the supply of LNG and the FSRU on competitive
terms, and will allow Socar Trading to build its presence in West Africa,
"Our alliance with Socar Trading represents a major step towards our
goal of bringing gas to Benin, Togo and Ghana, which remain significantly gas
constrained in their power plants and industries," Alan Buxton, Gasol chief
operating officer, said in a statement.
According to Gasol, power stations in West Africa currently operate
predominantly on diesel, light crude and jet fuel, but many of the plants are
capable of using gas.
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Gasol plans to supply these customers with gas from the FSRU that will
regasify LNG that will be subsequently sent into the West African Gas
The West African Gas Pipeline, operated by Chevron, transports 474,000
Mcf/day of natural gas to Benin, Togo and Ghana.
The $1 billion West African Gas Pipeline starts at the Itoki terminal in
southeastern Nigeria and heads eastward across Benin and Togo to Takoradi in
However, the pipeline was shut down in August after experiencing a loss
of pressure around the Lome, Togo, segment, disrupting gas supplies to power
plants in Nigeria's neighboring states.
The West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCO) said in October that it
hoped to resume deliveries of gas through the pipeline by the end of the year.
Chevron owns a 36.7% stake in WAPCO. Other shareholders are Nigerian
National Petroleum Corp. (25%), Shell (18%), Takoradi Power Company Limited
(16.3%), Societe Togolaise de Gaz (2%) and Societe BenGaz (2%).
--Geraldine Anderson, firstname.lastname@example.org
--Edited by Jonathan Fox, email@example.com