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French energy company TotalEnergies expects to take the final investment decision (FID) on a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in Mozambique by September 2024, reported Reuters, citing a spokesperson.

Planned to be built at Matola port in Mozambique, the Matola terminal could become the first major LNG supplier to South Africa upon completion.

The plan will align with the government’s efforts to significantly expand its gas market locally.

Mozambique is facing a gas supply shortage due to the gradual depletion of Sasol-operated onshore gas fields within the next few years.

The terminal is estimated to cost around $550m to develop. It is being developed by TotalEnergies in partnership with South Africa’s privately-held Gigajoule and Mozambican entities.

As per the plan, the terminal is expected to receive gas shipments to a permanently moored floating storage and regasification unit in Matola harbour, close to Maputo.

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The Matola LNG terminal forms part of a project that links it to a combined-cycle gas power plant of up to 2GW.

The terminal is due to be linked to the Rompco pipeline to enable gas supply to South Africa.

A TotalEnergies spokesperson was quoted by the news agency as saying in an email: “Matola LNG aims to provide primarily power to South Africa, which faces serious energy issues with recurrent loadsheddings (power cuts) and whose current power generation comes from coal-fired power plants.”

In a separate announcement, TotalEnergies has commissioned the Cape Ann floating storage and regasification unit in the port of Le Havre, France.

The first megawatt-hours of gas have been injected by the terminal into the GRTgaz-operated grid, using LNG from Norway.

In a press statement, TotalEnergies said: “TotalEnergies has contracted 50% of the terminal’s annual capacity of around 5 billion cubic meters, to supply it with LNG from its global portfolio. The remaining capacity will be marketed according to rules approved by the regulator.”