Tanzania hires U.S. law firm to advise on $30 billion LNG plan

Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala 1/25/2022

(Bloomberg) --Tanzania has selected U.S. law firm Baker Botts LLP as an adviser to help conclude talks with international oil companies over a long-delayed $30 billion liquefied natural gas terminal.

The nation wants to sign a Host Government Agreement with oil majors, including Equinor ASA and Shell Plc by April, Energy Minister January Makamba said. The move will give further impetus to the LNG project that’s been under consideration since 2014 and gained momentum after President Samia Suluhu Hassan took office in March.

The accord will outline the commercial, legal and technical aspects of the project, Makamba said in the northern Tanzanian city of Arusha.

The project involves building a two-train onshore LNG plant to tap into huge offshore natural gas discoveries south of the East African nation.

The deal between Baker Botts’s London office and the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corp. was signed Tuesday, Makamba said.

Tanzania and neighboring Mozambique are racing to develop their offshore gas fields and to export to markets in Asia and elsewhere.

Mozambique’s own multibillion gas project hit a snag last year after TotalEnergies SE suspended work due to insurgent attacks.

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