17 November 2009

Namibia: Gazprom to Get Shares in Kudu

A NEW developing licence for the Kudu gas field, which is likely to feature Russian natural gas giant Gazprom as a shareholder alongside existing partners Tullow Oil, Itochu Corporation and Namcor, will be announced soon.

Gazprom will construct Namibia's first gas-fired power station at Walvis Bay. The project, which will cost an estimated US$1,2 billion, will start in January and is scheduled to be finished by 2013 when Kudu is expected to start pumping gas.

Energy website platts.com has quoted a senior Mines and Energy senior official, saying that Gazprom, will enjoy equity in the new license.

"The (current) licence has lapsed and a new licence will be announced very soon," platts.com quoted the official.

"Although details of the new participating interests have not yet been determined, Tullow is likely to remain as the operator of the Kudu gas field development," the website reported.

Gazprom International Chief Boris Ivanov at the African Oil Conference in Cape Town earlier this month confirmed that Eskom will be buying 500 MW of the 800 MW generated at the plant, with the rest earmarked for the local market.

The National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) in June signed an agreement with Gazprombank, the lending arm of Gazprom, to help organise for the project, which includes the power station, a pipeline and other infrastructure.

Ivanov earlier indicated that Gazprombank will source a pool of international lenders, mainly from the Middle East and Lebanon in particular.

Namcor held ten per cent in the previous Kudu licence, while Tullow Oil had 70 per cent and Itochu 20 per cent.

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