“It could be collectively a 20 to 30 million tonnes per year market by 2025,” Tom Earl, Vice President of Gas and Power Development at the French oil major, said on the sidelines of a gas conference in Cape Town.
“Africa really is going to take a central role; the projects may be typically of smaller scale, but nevertheless they will collectively be very important.”
With hundreds of millions of people living without electricity in the continent, African countries are increasingly turning to gas to take advantage of lower global LNG prices amid a supply glut.
He said Egypt, the main driver, could be importing between 15 million-20 million tonnes annually within a decade.
He said the actual volumes would depend on the development of its huge Zohr gas field, which had an estimated 30 trillion cubic feet of gas.
West Africa was seen importing five million tonnes a year; Southern Africa four million and Morocco two million tonnes by 2025, Earl said.
He said Total was focusing on gas-to-power projects around the world and wanted to develop downstream markets to increase the uptake of gas, which is seen as a cleaner alternative to harmful coal-fired plants.
“Total is willing to invest further downstream and that’s important for us because it is developing future demand, future markets,” he said.
He said Total was considering all aspects of South Africa’s plans to build two gas-to-power projects with a combined 3,126 megawatt capacity to diversify electricity production away from coal plants.
The projects, estimated to cost around 50 billion rand ($3.7 bn), will initially require about 1.6 million tonnes of imported gas.
Preferred bidders are expected to be announced early next year. (NAN)