* Demand for electricity rising in Ivory Coast
* Total to have 34 pct of new Cote d'Ivoire-GNL company
(Adds update with Total's statement, details)
By Loucoumane Coulibaly
ABIDJAN, Nov 25 French oil major Total
, the Ivorian state oil company and four other partners have
formally established a consortium to build a liquid natural gas
(LNG) import terminal meant to feed the country's growing
Demand for electricity is rising in Ivory Coast - which is
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 the agreement - first announced on Nov. 24 -
the new Cote d'Ivoire-GNL company is 34 percent owned by Total
while the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic
(SOCAR) controls 26 percent and Ivorian state oil
company Petroci has 11 percent.
Royal Dutch Shell will hold a 13 percent stake,
while Houston-based Endeavor Energy and Golar LNG
will have minority stakes.
"This project illustrates Total's strategy to develop new
gas markets by unlocking access to LNG for fast-growing
economies," said Philippe Sauquet, head of Total's Gas,
Renewables and Power division in a statement on Friday.
Total added that the terminal is expected to become
operational by mid 2018, and that it will use the terminal to
supply LNG volumes from its global portfolio.
The company hopes the Ivory Coast LNG hub will help unlock
LNG demand in the West Africa region.
The project aims to build and operate a floating storage
regasification unit (FSRU) with an initial capacity of 100
million cubic feet that would gradually be brought up to 400
million cubic feet.
"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 in Abidjan on Thursday.
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.
Total will make a final investment decision on the project
in the first quarter of 2017, a spokeswoman 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.
(Additional reporting by Bate Felix in Paris; Writing By Aaron
Ross; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)