Italian energy group Eni had agreed to acquire Exmar group’s Export LNG, which owns the Tango floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) vessel to produce LNG in Congo Republic.

The 2017-built Tango floating liquefaction plant has an LNG storage capacity of 16,100m³ and a liquefaction capacity of up to 0.6 million tonnes per year (Mtpa).

Eni plans to deploy the Tango FLNG to support its natural gas development project in the Marine XII offshore block in the Republic of Congo.

The transaction is valued between $572m and $694m, depending on the FLNG’s actual performance during the first six months on site. It is scheduled to be closed in the second half of this month.

Production from the Tango FLNG is planned to be exported to Italy, which is looking to find alternative supplies to Russian gas in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Eni said in a statement: “The acquisition of this facility allows the development of a fast-track model capable of seizing the opportunities of the LNG market.

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“In addition, the high flexibility and mobility characteristics of the Tango FLNG will favour the development and enhancement of Eni’s equity gas by accelerating production start-up time.”

Eni plans to complete mooring and connection works for necessary Tango FLNG to tie with the Marine XII network and infrastructure prior to the commissioning of the FLNG, which is scheduled in the second half of 2023.

Upon fully operational, the Marine XII block is expected to produce more than three million tonnes per year.

Furthermore, as part of the project, Exmar agreed to charter a floating storage unit (FSU) with Eni for a ten-year period. This will be based on the conversed LNG carrier.

Exmar will be responsible for providing operations and maintenance services for both Tango FLNG and the FSU and engineering services for the project, under separate contracts.

Exmar executive chairman Nicolas Saverys said: “We are pleased to work with Eni to help increase their LNG supplies on a fast track basis.”