ABIDJAN Nov 24 French oil major Total
, the Ivorian state oil company and four other partners formally
established a consortium on Thursday to build a liquid natural
gas (LNG) import terminal meant to feed the country's growing
Demand for electricity is rising in Francophone West
Africa's largest economy by some 10 percent a year, and the
energy minister said last year that $20 billion of investment is
needed in the industry over the next 15 years.
According to Thursday's agreement, the new company, called
Cote d'Ivoire-GNL, is 34 percent owned by Total while the State
Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) controls 26
percent and Ivorian state oil company Petroci 16 percent.
Royal Dutch Shell, Houston-based Endeavor Energy
and Golar LNG also hold minority stakes.
"Many electricity-producing projects are awaiting a gas
supply to really kick off," Ibrahima Diaby, the director general
of Petroci said at the signing ceremony.
The project aims to conceive, build and operate a floating
storage regasification unit (FSRU) with initial capacity of 100
million cubic feet that would gradually be brought up to 400
million cubic feet, Diaby said.
The cost of the project, expected to take about 18 months to
complete, has also been reduced to $100 million from an earlier
estimate of $200 million, he added.
Ivory Coast has the region's most reliable power production
sector and exports electricity to its neighbours. Petroci said
in July that it hopes to double oil and gas output by 2020 by
developing offshore reserves in the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea.
(Writing By Aaron Ross)