Lack of financial resources is preventing the completion of an Angolan project to convert diesel-fired thermal power plants to natural gas, which is produced in large quantities by Angola LNG, said the Secretary of State for Energy, António Belsa da Costa, on Wednesday in Cabinda province.
The Secretary of State stressed that the sector is working to get the plants to operate on a diesel and gas hybrid system, whilst prioritising the latter, a project that involves a commitment from the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Oil, according to the Angop news agency.
António da Costa, who travelled to Cabinda over two days to assess the functional state of the sector, justified the need for this replacement due to high costs of importing diesel that feeds the thermal power plants operating in various regions of the country.
If the conversion project is to be completed on time, over the next three years, Angola could save about US$750 million, currently spent on diesel-based electricity production, according to figures given in June this year by the chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Oil, Gas and Biofuels Agency (ANPG), Paulino Jerónimo, during the 2nd Edition of the Business Forum of the US-Angola Chamber of Commerce (Amcham).
The project for the conversion of the thermal power plants started at the combined cycle power plant of Soyo and another 22-megawatt power plant that operates as part of Angola LNG, and is expected to cover the entire coast of the country in a first phase.
This initiative can make use of the 125 million cubic feet of natural gas to which Angola is entitled under Angola LNG, an integrated natural gas exploration project.
The shareholders of Angola LNG Limited are Angola’s Sonangol, with 22.8%, US group Chevron (36.4%) and BP, Itay’s ENI and France’s Total, with 13.6% each. (Macauhub)